MUMBAI: An employee of the private hospital in Maharashtra’s Palghar district, where 13 COVID-19 patients died in a fire after a blast in an air conditioning unit, said the AC system there was not working since Thursday afternoon and some repair work was going on.
The fire broke out in the intensive care unit on the second floor of the four-storeyed Vijay Vallabh Hospital at Virar in the early hours of Friday, in which five women and eight men died.
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 has said.
The hospital employee said the facility had been facing some problem with its AC system in the COVID-19 ward since Thursday afternoon.
“When I went to the hospital yesterday afternoon, the air conditioner was not working in the COVID-19 ward of the hospital. I saw that some repair work was going on at that time as AC panels were removed,” Supriya Deshmukh, a staffer at the hospital told a regional news channel.
“Meanwhile, the hospital set up some fans as a temporary arrangement. After finishing my work and I returned home late in the evening,” she said.
Meanwhile, the relatives of the COVID-19 patients who died in the incident, complained about the hospital’s alleged mismanagement to Shiv Sena leader and state minister Eknath Shinde, when he went to take stock of the situation.
The relatives told him that the hospital was understaffed, due to which proper attention was given to the patients.
Shinde told them that appropriate action would be taken.