Monday, 14 August 2017

30 children die in Indian hospital after oxygen is cut off

At least 30 children died on Thursday and into Friday at a hospital in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh after its supply of liquid oxygen was disrupted over an unpaid bill, officials said.

A home ministry spokesman told the Press Trust of India, citing police reports, that 21 of the deaths were directly linked to a shortage of oxygen.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene between 11pm and 2am as medical practitioners and relatives - the tanks running dry - handed out manual resuscitator bags to families in a desperate attempt to save the young patients.

"We saw children dying around us," said the father of one victim, who gave his name only as Vijay. "Obviously, it's the hospital's fault. So many children have died because of them. My son was fine until nighttime, then something wrong happened."
The state's Health Minister and hospital officials have denied charges that the deaths were caused by the oxygen bill dispute. An estimated 60 children have died at the hospital since 7 August from a variety of causes, officials said.

In a news conference on Saturday, the state's Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, called the tragedy despicable and said the state had set up a committee to investigate the role of the oxygen vendor.

"The guilty will not be spared," Adityanath said.

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