New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a tragic incident, at least 24 people died due to a shortage of Oxygen after an Oxygen tanker leaked while tankers were being filled at Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Maharashtra's Nashik district on Wednesday. Shortly after the incident, the Chief Minister's office announced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to kin of the deceased and ordered a high-level probe into the incident. 

"As per the current information, 24 people have died due to the interrupted supply of oxygen at the Zakir Hussain municipal hospital. The patients were on ventilators as well as on oxygen supply, which got interrupted after the leakage in the oxygen supply tank," Nashik district collector Suraj Mandhare said as quoted by news agency PTI.

He said the municipal corporation immediately shifted the cylinders from the other facilities where oxygen demand was not high. The Zakir Hussain Hospital is a COVID dedicated facility in Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC). According to reports, around 150 patients were either oxygen-dependent or on ventilators in the facility.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief at the unfortunate incident and offered condolences to the bereaved families. "The tragedy at a hospital in Nashik because of oxygen tank leakage is heart-wrenching. Anguished by the loss of lives due to it. Condolences to the bereaved families in this sad hour", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as quoted by ANI. 

"This is an unfortunate incident. I spoke to Nashik municipal commissioner who has informed me that the situation is under control now. I'll be going to Nashik soon. Nashik Guardian Min Chhagan Bhujbal has already gone there", Maharashtra Min Rajesh Tope said as quoted by ANI. 

Earlier it was reported that 11 patients died due to the supply cut, however, the Nashik District Collector confirmed that 22 patients have lost their lives so far. 

"It's an unfortunate incident. As per preliminary info, we've learnt that 11 people died. We're trying to get a detailed report. We've ordered an enquiry as well. Those who are responsible will not be spared", FDA Minister Dr Rajendra Shingane said as quoted by news agency ANI. 

This comes amid the acute shortage of medical Oxygen supply in several states, including Maharashtra and Delhi. Meanwhile, 58,924 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Maharashtra in the last 24 hours. As many as 52,412 people recovered in the said period and 351 died. The total case tally reached 38,98,262 while the death toll reached 60,824.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan