Delhi hospital fire: Cops arrest Baby Care New Born hospital owner

Firefighters try to douse fire in the hospital. Photo: Screengrab/ Manorama News

New Delhi: The Delhi Police has apprehended Naveen Kichi, the owner of Baby Care New Born Hospital, where a devastating fire on Saturday night claimed the lives of seven newborn babies. Kichi is a resident of Bhairon Enclave, Paschim Vihar. 

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Surendra Choudhary said Kichi has been booked under sections 336 (act endangering life of personal safety of others) and 304A (causing death by negligence) at Vivek Vihar police station. Choudhary said they are checking the fire NOC of the hospital and if it is found without it, IPC sections may be added.

Police personnel stand guard outside a children's hospital . Photo: PTI

The newborns were killed after a massive fire broke out at the children's hospital in Vivek Vihar area in East Delhi. Twelve newborns were rescued from the medical facility and five babies are undergoing treatment at another hospital, DFS chief Atul Garg said.

A senior police officer said the fire broke out at the Baby Care New Born Hospital and its adjacent building at around 11:30 pm on Saturday. The babies were rescued from the hospital with the help of other people and shifted to another hospital. While six babies were declared brought dead, one died during treatment, the officer said.

“All 7 dead bodies have been further shifted to GTB Hospital for postmortem. Appropriate legal action is being taken against the owner of the hospital namely Naveen Kichi, a resident of Bhairon Enclave, Paschim Vihar, Delhi,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) Surendra Chaudhary. 

According to the DFS official, the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Sixteen fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the blaze, Divisional Fire Officer Rajendra Atwal said. Oxygen cylinders kept in the two-storey building exploded due to which the adjacent buildings were damaged, he said.

Another fire official said two boutiques, a portion of IndusInd Bank operating from an adjacent building and a shop on the ground floor were also damaged besides an ambulance and a scooter parked outside the building.

Govt assures action
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said those responsible for negligence will not be spared. Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj also said strictest punishment will be given to those found negligent or involved in any wrongdoing.
In a post on X, Kejriwal said the government stood with those who lost their children in the fire incident, and added the administration was ensuring proper treatment to the injured. He said the reasons behind the fire were being probed and those found negligent will not be spared.

Condoling the death of children, President Droupadi Murmu prayed for strength to the bereaved parents.

Hospital staff ran away, claim witness
According to eyewitnesses, locals and members of an NGO, Shaheed Seva Dal, were the first to rush to help. Some residents climbed the building from the back side and rescued some of the newborns. Members of Shaheed Seva Dal, an NGO operating in the area, were also involved in the rescue efforts, an eyewitness said.

Ravi Gupta, a local resident, said some locals climbed from the back side of the building and evacuated children one by one. Fire department officials, local police and members of Sewa Dal joined them in the rescue operation.

A member of Sewa Dal claimed the hospital staff ran away soon after the hospital building caught fire. Another resident, Mukesh Bansal claimed that an 'unauthorised' oxygen refilling cylinder work was being carried out in the building."We had complained about it to the local councillor as well. But nothing was done. It was all happening under the nose of the police," Bansal alleged. Bansal also said that he used to live next to the hospital but due to the 'illegal' work of refilling cylinders, he shifted to the next lane.
(With PTI and IANS Inputs)

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