This is the latest in a series of similar incidents in State’s hospitals.

A massive fire at a COVID-19 hospital in Bharuch killed 16 people, including two staff members of the hospital, early on Saturday.

The fire occurred at the Welfare Hospital, a four-storey building, and was brought under control in an hour. The cause is yet to be ascertained.

“16 people died in the incident,” Bharuch District Collector MD Modia told The Hindu.

The deceased include 14 patients and two staff members who were attending to them.

The patients died of burns and asphyxiation as the building was engulfed by the fire.

Around 50 COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment in the hospital were rescued and shifted to other hospitals. According to sources, around 70 COVID-19 patients were in the hospital.

The Gujarat Chief Minister announced a compensation of ₹ 4 lakh to kin of the victims.

The Chief Minister also directed two senior IAS officers to conduct an inquiry into the incident. Additional Chief Secretary Vipul Mitra and Raj Kumar Beniwal have been asked to conduct the inquiry.

Further, the government is contemplating ordering a judicial inquiry into the incident.

This is the latest in a series of horrific fire tragedies in hospitals in Gujarat. This week, five COVID-19 patients died when a hospital in Surat caught fire in an ICU ward.

Last year, in two tragic incidents of fire in COVID-19 hospitals, eight patients died in Ahmedabad and six in Rajkot.

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