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COVID Hospital fire: SC seeks inquiry report from Gujarat government

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The Supreme court on Wednesday asked the Gujarat government to file an inquiry report regarding the COVID hospital fire by December 11.

The Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta submitted before the three-judge bench that nothing more can be done as the formulated probe committees and the truth will come out. We have nothing to hide, he told the court.

Mehta further requested that since the Rajkot COVID hospital fire is under inquiry by a committee headed by Justice Mehta, the same may be done for the Ahmedabad COVID hospital fire incident as well.

The court accepted the request and directed that the Ahmedabad fire incident may also be looked into by the same committee that is probing the Rajkot COVID hospital fire.

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The apex court had sought fire safety audit reports from all the states. Earlier the Supreme Court had expressed displeasure over the report submitted by the Gujarat government about the fire incident in Rajkot COVID hospital.

The bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan had said that the facts shouldn’t be suppressed in any way and asked the state to file a fresh affidavit.

The fire was reported at 1 am in the ICU unit of Uday Shivanand Hospital in Rajkot. The hospital which is a COVID-19 centre had 33 COVID-19 patients. The ICU had 11 patients at the time of the incident.

Initial investigations have revealed negligence on part of the hospital authorities, PTI reported.

The probe revealed that the emergency exit in the ICU of the hospital, where the fire was reported, was blocked as some machines were placed there. Lack of ventilation in the ICU led to the smoke getting trapped in the ICU. The only exit from the hospital floor in case of an emergency was a 4 feet wide staircase.

 

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