Delhi children’s hospital blaze: Locals recording videos, low-hanging wires pose challenge for firefighters


PTI, May 26, 2024, 2:08 PM IST

New Delhi: Firefighting personnel faced several challenges during its rescue operation after a blaze erupted at an east Delhi children’s hospital that left seven newborns dead, none more so than clearing the crowd that had gathered at the spot and recording videos.

Delhi Fire Services officials said a blaze broke out at the Baby Care New Born Hospital in the Vivek Vihar area around 11:30 pm on Saturday and spread to two adjacent buildings.

Twelve newborns were rescued from the facility but seven of them died. Five babies are undergoing treatment at another hospital, they said.

A senior Delhi Fire Services official said, “Several people had gathered at the spot and were recording videos of the fire. Many of them even came close to those trying to douse the flames.”

He added that people must avoid coming close to areas where a firefighting operation is underway to ensure that those dousing the flames can operate smoothly.

The fire had spread from the hospital to a boutique and a private bank in the next building, and an eyeglass showroom and a shop selling domestic articles in another building. A scooter, an ambulance and a portion of a nearby park had also caught fire, the official said.

“But the locals were standing between the park and the building and recording videos,” he added.

Officials said the biggest challenge during such operations is controlling the public.

“Another challenge we faced was that there was no water source and low-hanging electrical wires. We are checking if the building had a fire NOC (no-objection certificate),” said the Delhi Fire Services official.

A senior police officer said the babies were rescued with the help of other people from a window behind the hospital.

They were taken to another hospital where six were declared brought dead while one died during treatment.

The bodies have been sent to GTB Hospital for post-mortem.

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