NEW DELHI – Eight COVID-19 patients died in India when a fire engulfed the critical care unit of a hospital in Ahmedabad city in the western Gujarat state early Thursday.
The victims included five men and three women.
About 35 other patients in the hospital were shifted to other facilities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “saddened by the tragic hospital fire” and said that all possible assistance is being given to those affected.
Gujarat, Modi’s home state, is among the worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the fire, which broke out around 3:30 a.m. in the private hospital, was caused by an electrical short circuit. It spread to the intensive care ward within minutes, municipal commissioner Mukesh Kumar told the Press Trust of India.
Poor safety standards are often a cause of fires in India.
Firemen who fought the blaze will have to undergo quarantine, fire officials said.
Source: Voice of America