Vivek Vihar fire: What led to fire at Delhi’s Baby Care New Born Hospital that killed 7 babies

Vivek Vihar fire: At least seven newborn babies died after a fire erupted at Baby Care New Born Hospital at Vivek Vihar on Saturday night. Delhi Fire Department Director Atul Garg explained what could have been the trigger for the fire and how more babies could have been saved.

Livemint
Updated27 May 2024
Vivek Vihar fire in Delhi: Baby Care New Born Hospital where the fire broke out on Saturday night, at Vivek Vihar, in New Delhi.
Vivek Vihar fire in Delhi: Baby Care New Born Hospital where the fire broke out on Saturday night, at Vivek Vihar, in New Delhi.(HT_PRINT)

Delhi Fire Department Director Atul Garg suspects an "electric fault" to be a possible reason behind the fire that killed six babies at Baby Care New Born Hospital in Delhi's Vivek Vihar.

"It seems that there is no reason behind the fire other than an electric fault. This could only be seen as a possible reason as of now," Garg told ANI on Monday. He said more details will come out after analysing videos and statements by eyewitnesses as the investigation has been started.

At least seven newborn babies died after a fire erupted at New Born Baby Care Hospital in Delhi's Vivek Vihar on Saturday night. According to reports, seven dead children, of which four male and three female newborn babies, were moved to the GTB Hospital for postmortem.

What could have saved more children

Garg told ANI that more babies could have been saved had there been a second exit or any other easy access. "No one was there to guide us and no one could give us information regarding stairs and the number of cylinders...," the Delhi Fire Department director said.

Lapses

The Delhi Police also pointed towards major lapses that led to the deaths of seven newborn babies in the Vivek Vihar fire incident on Saturday.

1. Invalid licence: The Delhi Police's probe revealed that the licence on which the hospital was operating was no longer valid. "We came to know that the NOC [No Objection Certificate] of the hospital had expired on March 31," police told news agency ANI.

2. No emergency exit: The police also said there was no emergency or fire exit system on the hospital premises.

3. Hospital had more beds than allowed: Deputy Commissioner of Police, Shahdara, Surendra Chaudhary said the hospital had permission for up to five beds but they installed more than 10 beds.

4. Some doctors not qualified: The police investigation further revealed that some of the hospital's doctors were not qualified to treat a newborn child in need of Neo-Natal Incentive care, as they were BAMS degree holders.

Two accused, identified as Dr Naveen Khichi (45), the owner of the hospital, and Dr Akash (26), were arrested in connection with the fire incident.

Police said they added Sections 304 and 308 of the Indian Penal Code in the FIR and arrested the hospital's director, Dr Naveen Kichi. "One of the doctors who was on duty, Dr Akash, has also been arrested. The accused have three such clinics in Delhi," police told ANI.

'Fire safety equipment now compulsory in every hospital'

In view of the incident, Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj said that fire safety equipment will be made compulsory in every hospital, irrespective of its size.

He said that earlier, the NOC related to fire safety was not required for all nursing homes, which were restricted to the ground or first floors. "That's why this hospital did not have NOC," he said.

"But now we have decided that for every hospital, be it ground or the first floor or even above it, fire safety equipment will be necessary. There should be a water sprinkling system and automatic smoke detection," Saurabh Bhardwaj said at a press conference.

(With inputs from ANI)

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