Home » Oxygen leak at Nashik Hospital: Toll Rises To 24, Police File Case Of Culpable Homicide

Oxygen leak at Nashik Hospital: Toll Rises To 24, Police File Case Of Culpable Homicide

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 2 minutes read

Divisional Commissioner to conduct enquiry into the mishap
IT Correspondent
Nashik, April 23:

The death toll in the Nashik hospital oxygen leakage incident on Wednesday rose to 24 after two more COVID-19 patients, who were on a ventilator, succumbed in the evening even as Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered an inquiry by the Divisional Commissioner into the mishap. 
The dead included 10 women. Most of the deceased were senior citizens. The Nashik police have filed a case of culpable homicide against “unknown persons”. A compensation of Rs 10 lakh (Rs 5 lakh by the Maharashtra government and Rs 5 lakh by the Nashik Municipal Corporation) has been announced for the next of the kin of the deceased. 
About 171 patients were on oxygen in the hospital. Three days before the tragedy, the Union health ministry’s COVID-19 data compiled between March 16 and April 15 from major cities showed Nashik the worst-hit city in the country in terms of cases per million residents. 
Divisional Revenue Commissioner Radhakrishna Game, said that a 13 KL (kilolitre) oxygen tank was set up on the premises of the Nashik Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) Dr. Zakir Hussain Hospital, located in Nashik’s Dwarka area. A socket of the oxygen storage tank broke and the leakage started. When the hospital staff noticed the leakage around 12.30 pm, they deployed jumbo cylinders to supply oxygen to the patients and started shifting some of the patients. 
The liquid oxygen which was filled in the tank has a temperature of around (minus) 180-degree celsius. There is extreme pressure on the walls of the tank which supplies oxygen to patients on ventilator support. The oxygen level was around 25 percent in the storage tank at the time of the incident. Two oxygen tanks were recently set up at the hospital and the maintenance work was given to a private company, Nashik Municipal Commissioner Kailash Jadhav said.
Explaining the cause behind the deaths, Nashik collector Suraj Mandhre said, “The supply tank that was set up in this hospital started leaking due to cork damage after which the pressure decreased and those on invasive ventilator did not receive adequate oxygen on time. 
On Thursday in a meeting of the standing committee of the Nashik Municipal Corporation it was decided to probe the matter by a separate committee comprising corporators and NMC officials not related with awarding the contract of maintenance of the oxygen plant, to the private contractor. The tank was installed on March 31 on a hire basis for 10 years’ duration and two engineers were also appointed to oversee the maintenance work. The meeting decided to take into consideration all these aspects and blamed Additional Municipal Commissioner Dr Pravin Ashtekar, primarily responsible for awarding the contract.

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