Tragic fire at Delhi children’s hospital claims lives of seven newborns

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In a devastating incident late Saturday, a massive fire broke out at a baby care center in the Vivek Vihar area of East Delhi, leading to the tragic death of seven newborns. The Delhi Fire Services reported that the fire started at 11:32 pm, prompting an urgent response with 16 fire tenders dispatched to the scene. Despite the swift action, seven infants died after being rescued and during treatment at the hospital.

Officials managed to rescue 12 newborns from the first floor of the building, but the condition of five remains critical as they continue to receive treatment. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and authorities have filed a case against the hospital owner for potential negligence.

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Community and National Response

The incident has drawn significant attention and sorrow from the community and leaders alike. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the fire as “heart-rendering” and assured the public that the investigation would be thorough. “The causes of the incident are being investigated and whoever is responsible for this negligence will not be spared,” Kejriwal stated on the social platform X.

A heartbreaking fire in a Delhi children's hospital claims the lives of seven newborns.

A heartbreaking fire in a Delhi children’s hospital claims the lives of seven newborns.

Broader Context of Fire Safety Challenges

This tragedy in Delhi coincides with other fire-related incidents in the region. Early Sunday, another fire in Delhi’s Krishna Nagar in a residential building claimed three lives, despite efforts by the Delhi Fire Services to control the situation. The fire, reported at 2:35 am, was extinguished by 7:20 am, but not before taking lives and causing extensive damage.

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Additionally, a massive fire in Gujarat’s Rajkot at a gaming zone resulted in the deaths of twenty-seven people, including nine children, earlier the same day. The severity of the incident, with bodies being “completely charred,” as stated by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vinayak Patel, highlights ongoing issues with fire safety and emergency responses in densely populated areas.

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National Mourning and Calls for Action

The series of tragic events has prompted reactions from the highest levels of government, with President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing their grief and condolences to the families affected. These incidents underscore the urgent need for stricter fire safety regulations and more effective emergency response strategies across India.

These consecutive fire tragedies point to a larger systemic issue within urban planning and safety regulations in India. The recurring nature of such devastating events calls for an immediate reevaluation of fire safety standards, particularly in buildings frequented by vulnerable populations such as hospitals and recreational facilities.

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