KARACHI: Seven infants died Friday at a private hospital in Karachi after oxygen supply to incubators was disrupted following a power failure, police said.
The deaths occurred at the privately run Shah National Children Hospital in Korangi area. “The children were on incubators and apparently the power failure disrupted their oxygen supply resulting in the deaths of seven children,” a senior police officer said. A father of one victim described how he had brought his three-month old daughter to hospital only the night before.
“She was actively playing and rejoicing when I brought her to the hospital because she was suffering from light fever,” Aqeel Ahmed said.
Angry relatives stormed the hospital, ransacking equipment and blocking roads with burning tyres and boulders.
The health department has started an inquiry into the children’s deaths and a report will be submitted to the provincial government within 24 hours.
“We cannot say right now how the deaths occurred but we have formed a two-member committee to probe into the matter,” Dr Zafar Ejaz, a senior health official, told AFP.
Police said they had detained some of the hospital staff and were tracing the owner of the facility as part of their investigation.
“Cases of criminal negligence will be registered against the hospital management, if the parents press charges,” Mirbahar said. Parents demanded that the hospital staff and doctors responsible for the incident be handed over to them. However, hospital staff, doctors and administration were reportedly evacuated from the hospital. Residents of the area claimed that many complaints had been lodged against the hospital previously but no action was taken.
Sindh Governor Ishrat ul Ibad has taken notice of the incident and the health department has started an inquiry into the children’s deaths and a report will be submitted to the provincial government within 24 hours.
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