After Vivek Vihar fire, hospital shuts down West Delhi branch : The Tribune India

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After Vivek Vihar fire, hospital shuts down West Delhi branch

Located in a crowded West Delhi residential neighbourhood, the facility has a single exit

After Vivek Vihar fire, hospital shuts down West Delhi branch

‘Safety lapses’: The Baby Care New Born Hospital in West Delhi that was closed in the wake of the fire incident at its Vivek Vihar facility in East Delhi. TRIBUNE PHOTO



Tribune News Service

Samad Hoque

New Delhi, May 28

There appears to be a history of lapses at Baby Care New Born Hospital, with the West Delhi facility of the centre also having reported a major gas leak from an oxygen cylinder about four years ago. That incident was controlled, but evidence of loopholes in fire safety equipment at the West Delhi branch of the hospital is evident from the fact that it was shut down abruptly on Monday. The closure followed the deadly fire that killed seven newborns at the neonatal facility in Vivek Vihar.

The Tribune correspondent, who visited the hospital’s branch in Paschim Puri, found that the two-storeyed hospital was shut down on Monday. The branch, like the one in Vivek Vihar, is located in a crowded West Delhi residential neighbourhood. The surrounding lanes are narrow, and the facility has a single exit, similar to the Vivek Vihar location.

Kanak (24) a cyber café operator in Paschim Puri, told The Tribune, “Four years ago, the residents here had complained of a gas leak from an oxygen cylinder that was kept right adjacent to the facility. There was a minor blast-like sound. Residents had then complained to the police and local MLA.”

“Around six to eight cylinders were installed here at that time. Even before the incident, many people had complained to hospital owner Naveen Khichi (now in police remand for the Vivek Vihar tragedy). The cylinders were later shifted inside the hospital,” he added. A steel cage-like structure was erected inside the hospital building where cylinders were kept close to a spiral staircase.

Kanak further said after the Vivek Vihar tragedy, the hospital management at Paschim Puri quickly shifted the babies out of the facility. “All cylinders were taken, three-four staff that operated here also left. The place was deserted in no time,” she added.

Another resident, Kamla, 55 (name changed), said, “He (Khichi) never used to interact with anyone. Their ambulance always used to close our narrow alley.” She also recalled that she had taken her daughter to the hospital for her delivery last year. “The delivery was normal, but then they began to insist that the baby was not crying and she would need oxygen support.”

Kamla alleged the doctors were trying to mint money from them. “We insisted on seeing another doctor. While he was still persistent, later he said that it will be on us if anything happens. However, the baby is fine now,” she added.

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