In Daring Act, How Locals Ran Inside Burning Delhi Hospital To Save Babies

The eyewitnesses said local residents and members of a non-profit, Shaheed Seva Dal, were the first to rush to help

An ambulance that caught fire along with a hospital for babies in Delhi

New Delhi:

People who saw a huge fire engulf a children's hospital in Delhi scaled the compound wall, and climbed from the rear side of the building to rescue newborns, eyewitnesses told news agency PTI.

The fire in Baby Care New Born Hospital at Delhi's Vivek Vihar killed seven babies.

The eyewitnesses said local residents and members of a non-profit, Shaheed Seva Dal, were the first to rush to help.

A group of residents climbed the building from the rear side and rescued some newborns. Shaheed Seva Dal happens to operate in the area.

Ravi Gupta, a resident, said locals were the first to enter the burning hospital and bring out as many babies as they could.

They were soon joined by fire department officials and the police. A member of the Sewa Dal alleged the hospital staff ran away soon after the building caught fire. Another resident, Mukesh Bansal, alleged an illegal oxygen refilling cylinder work was being carried out in the building.

"We had complained about it to the local councillor as well. But nothing was done. It was all happening under the nose of the police," Mr Bansal alleged. He said he used to live next to the hospital, but due to the "illegal" work of refilling cylinders, he shifted to the next lane.

The Delhi Fire Services said the blaze broke out at 11.30 pm on Saturday and soon spread to two other adjacent buildings. Sixteen fire trucks came to douse the blaze, Divisional Fire Officer Rajendra Atwal said.

Oxygen cylinders kept in the two-storey building exploded due to which the adjacent buildings were damaged, he said.

Another fire official said two boutiques, a portion of IndusInd Bank operating from an adjacent building and a shop on the ground floor were also damaged besides an ambulance and a scooty parked outside the building.

Condoling the death of the children, President Droupadi Murmu prayed for strength to the bereaved parents. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said those responsible for negligence will not be spared.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the fire tragedy at the hospital in Delhi is heart-rending. "My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this incredibly difficult time. I pray that those injured recover at the earliest," he said.

With inputs from PTI