Uttar Pradesh: 30 children died due to oxygen shortage in Gorakhpur hospital

Sunday, 13 Aug, 2017

In a shocking incident, 30 children, many of them newborns, have died in the last 48 hours at Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur city.

A statement issued by the office of state chief minister Yogi Adityanath, which has ordered the inquiry, said that all 60 deaths had occurred at the hospital's paediatric ward over a five-day period starting last Monday.

Stating that the dealer claimed that his dues were cleared only on August 11, Tandon said, "Why was there a delay in payment, why the supply of oxygen was stopped - these aspects will be probed by the panel". No reason has been given for these deaths but the Union Home Ministry said that according to the SP of Gorakhpur, 21 children died due to lack of supply of liquid oxygen.

Rajeev Rautela, Gorakhpur District Magistrate denies that the incident was caused due to lack of oxygen supply. Officials later said the deaths took place due to blood poisoning which developed into hemorrhagic shock.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who visited the hospital, blamed the State government for the "lapse" and demanded that the Health Minister and Medical Education Minister be sacked.

State government officials in TV appearances chastised opposition leaders for seeking to politicize the issue.

UP Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh, while addressing to the media, said an "appropriate investigation is to be done and brisk action would be made".

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Meanwhile, the state government has reiterated its earlier stand on the deaths and has said that the children did not die to disruption of gas supply.

Most of the deaths were of children admitted to the neonatal and encephalitis wards.

He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had enquired about the situation and assured all central help.

As many as 63 lives have been lost till now due to alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen in the hospital. Over the years, there have been a number of other such gut-wrenching tragedies resulting in high death tolls. According to reports, 12 children were suffering from encephalitis. Hence there was no oxygen shortage. On August 9, the CM had himself visited the hospital for inspection.

"P government is responsible & should punish the negligent, who caused this tragedy", Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Chief Medical Superintendent Dr R.S. Shukla said on Friday at least 10 of the children at BRD Medical College, the largest in Gorakhpur, had died because of encephalitis.