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Rajkot Hospital Fire: Emergency exit door of ICU barred, several other fire safety violations found

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The investigation into the Rajkot hospital fire which ended up killing five patients has revealed that the emergency exit door in the hospital was barred at the time of the incident.

The initial probe by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) has revealed that the fire was a result of negligence. The SIT has registered a case against five doctors and is investigating the matter further.

What the probe revealed about the Rajkot hospital fire

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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Only the ground floor had two exits but even those lacked a fire sign exit and no reflectors pointed to the emergency exit. 

The ICU door was just a bit over 3 ft wide and the fire extinguisher kept near the ICU could not be used as the staff on duty was not trained to use it.

None of the staff members were trained in fire and emergency rescue and the hospital lacked an evacuation plan. 

It also lacked an automatic sprinkler system and had failed to follow the NBC and NABH and fire safety guidelines. 

The negligence in ensuring proper safety protocols on the part of the hospital authorities is what aggravated the fire, the probe has found.

Case against doctors of Rajkot hospital

The officials have registered a case against Dr. Prakash Modha and one Vishal Modha who got permission from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation to run the hospital.

Dr. Tejal Karmata, Dr. Tejas Motiwaras, and Dr. Digvijaysinh Jadeja have also been booked in connection with the case. As of now, police are awaiting their COVID-19 test results and will take action against them soon.

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.

 

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