Ten new-born babies died after fire broke out in the Special New-born Care Unit of Bhandara district hospital in Maharashtra in the wee hours on Saturday. The infants were aged between a month and three months.
Reacting to the shocking incident, several B-town celebs took to social media to express their grief and offer condolences.
Anupam Kher tweeted: "My heart goes out to the families of the children who lost their lives in the hospital fire in #bhandara #Maharashtra. It is such a colossal tragedy. I am saddened beyond words. Hope the injured recover soon."
Dia Mirza tweeted, "This is just so heartbreaking!!! What an awful awful thing to happen..."
Genelia D'Souza said it is "absolutely heartbreaking, just so so sad."
"Such a tragic news..my deepest condolences to the families of the babies who lost their lives..may God give them strength to deal with this tremendous grief. Prayers for souls of the little angels," added actor-politician Urmila Matondkar.
District civil surgeon Pramod Khandate said fire broke out at the Bhandara district hospital at around 1.30 am. There were 17 babies in the unit and seven were rescued.
A nurse first noticed smoke coming out from the neonatal section of the hospital and alerted doctors and other staff who reached there in five minutes.
Fire brigade personnel rescued seven babies from the 'inbound ward' of the unit but could not save the 10 other babies.
Khandate said the ward where new-born babies are kept requires a continuous supply of oxygen. "There were fire extinguishers and staff used them while trying to douse the fire. There was too much smoke," he added.
Parents of the deceased children have been informed and the seven new-born babies rescued in the blaze have been shifted to another ward, he said.
Patients from the ICU ward, dialysis wing and labour ward (a room in a hospital set aside for childbirth) were also shifted to other wards safely, he added.
The cause of the fire in the four-storeyed building is yet to be ascertained but could have been the result of an electrical short circuit, he said.