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The Baby Care Hospital Fire: Examining Regulatory Failures and Loss of Innocent Lives

The Baby Care Hospital Fire Examining Regulatory Failures and Loss of Innocent Lives
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The Baby Care Hospital Fire: Examining Regulatory Failures and Loss of Innocent Lives

The recent tragedy at the Baby Care Newborn Hospital in Vivek Vihar, Delhi, has shaken the entire nation. Due to the negligence of doctors at this hospital, a fire accident occurred, resulting in the tragic death of seven infants. There were 12 newborns present at the time, with treatment ongoing for five of them.

The Delhi Police has arrested Dr. Navin Kitchi, the owner of this hospital, and Dr. Akash, who was present during the incident. The Delhi Police team is currently investigating the matter.

According to an official from the Delhi Fire Service, a fire broke out at around 11:30 pm on Saturday night at the Baby Care Newborn Hospital, spreading to nearby buildings. While 12 newborns were rescued, unfortunately, seven lost their lives. Five infants are currently receiving treatment at a government hospital. The Delhi Police has registered a case against the responsible parties under sections 336, 304, 304A, and 308 of the Indian Penal Code.

The Nursing Home Was Operating Illegally, Permission Expired

During the investigation by the Delhi Police, it was revealed that the permission for this nursing home had expired on March 31. The Delhi government’s Health Department grants permission for such establishments, but Dr. Navin Kitchi was running the nursing home illegally. Initially allowed only five beds, the nursing home often admitted between 25 to 30 babies. Additionally, 32 oxygen cylinders were found on the premises, far exceeding the capacity for five beds.

The Baby Care Newborn Hospital Relied on BAMS Doctors

The Baby Care Newborn Hospital did not even have a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Delhi Fire Service. There were no arrangements for fire extinguishing either. Proper entry and exit arrangements were lacking, with no emergency exit in place. Most alarmingly, the hospital employed BAMS doctors who were not qualified to treat infants, disregarding all regulations.

Dr. Navin Kitchi’s wife, Jagrati, who is a dentist, also assisted him in running the hospital. Dr. Akash, present during the incident, is also a BAMS doctor who fled instead of rescuing the children.

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Local Heroes Save Children at Risk

Local residents played a crucial role in rescuing the children during the fire accident. Some stood shoulder to shoulder with firefighters, while others were busy filming the incident. A senior police officer stated that with the help of locals, babies were evacuated from behind the hospital through windows. Given the rapid spread of fire, they broke windows to rescue the children.

A Local Resident Fainted Due to Smoke and Exhaustion

Jitendra Singh, a local resident, recounted, “I received information about the fire around 11:25 pm. I rushed to the scene by 11:30 pm. There were three explosions after my arrival. The first explosion engulfed the entire building in flames, and the second explosion caused an oxygen cylinder to burst. We broke the windows at the back of the building to evacuate the children. Due to smoke and exhaustion, I fainted and had to be admitted to the hospital as well.”

Hospital Staff Disappeared After the Fire

Abid, another witness, said, “I was walking with my family when we saw the fire. We informed hospital staff, but the fire wasn’t serious at that time. However, when staff members came out and made a phone call, they disappeared from the scene.” The Delhi Fire Service had deployed 16 fire tenders to control the fire in the three buildings. Divisional Fire Officer Rajendra Atwal was also present at the scene.

Some People Were Rescuing Children While Others Were Filming

A senior official from the Delhi Fire Service stated, “Many people gathered at the scene and were recording videos of the fire. Some even came close to the firefighters trying to extinguish the fire. People should avoid such places, especially during fire extinguishing operations, to ensure that firefighters can do their job properly. This often becomes the biggest challenge.”

History of Negligence at Baby Care Newborn Hospital

Dr. Navin Kitchi’s Baby Care Hospital has a history of criminal negligence. In 2021, the hospital’s owner was charged under IPC sections 325, 506, 34, and section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act for not registering the nursing home and tampering with case histories. This case was filed by a couple from Hathras.

An Infant’s Hand Was Broken During Treatment at the Hospital

In fact, the couple had come to this hospital for their child’s treatment, but the infant’s hand got broken during treatment. Upon reviewing CCTV footage, they discovered that a nurse was assaulting their child, resulting in the fracture. When the couple complained to Navin Kitchi, he threatened them instead. It was also found during the investigation that the Delhi Nursing Home Act had not been registered for this hospital.

Many Questions Arise After the Deaths of Seven Children

Even after the settlement of the case, questions arise following the deaths of seven infants. Who is responsible for the deaths of these innocent children? Did health department officials inspect the premises? Was the center allowed to operate only after fulfilling all norms? Was this illegal hospital operating with the connivance of local police? There are many questions whose answers will emerge as the police investigation progresses.

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