Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday condoled the loss of lives in a blaze at a private hospital in Maharashtra's Palghar district and approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of the victims.
Thirteen COVID-19 patients died in the blaze at the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Virar, police said. There were 90 patients in the hospital, 18 of them in the ICU when the fire broke out after a blast in the AC unit, an official said.
The dead include five women and eight men. "The fire at a COVID-19 hospital in Virar is tragic. Condolences to those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover soon," Modi was quoted as saying by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
"PM @narendramodi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF (Prime Minister's National Relief Fund) for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the hospital fire in Virar, Maharashtra. Rs. 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured," the PMO said in a tweet.
The fire broke out in the ICU on the second floor of the four-storeyed Vijay Vallabh Hospital at Virar shortly after 3 am, an official said.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze at 5.20 am, he added.