18 babies dead at one hospital in 48 hours

Kolkata: A shocking case of 18 infant deaths has come to light from Kolkata's BC Roy Hospital. And that too, in less than two days.

The figure was released by the Chief Minister's office today.

The tragedy at BC Roy Hospital may have gone unnoticed but for the death of nine-month-old Aryan Gazi this morning. Angry relatives trashed the hospital and attacked doctors who they say were negligent.

"I begged the doctors to help my son, I fell at his feet. But the doctors didn't listen. I was crying... my son died," said Hannan Gazi, Aryan's father.

The doctors, however, deny allegations that there has been negligence on the hospital's part.

The Superintendent of  the B C Roy Hospital, D Pal told PTI the babies who had died were either pre-mature or suffering from septicemia or low-birth weight problems. The medical institute is considered to be the largest referral paediatric hospital in the eastern region.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is also the Health Minister of West Bengal. She has ordered an enquiry.

"I have come to know that the babies were brought to the hospital at the last stage and that the cause of death was not enteric disease. I have ordered a probe and asked the authorities to submit a report to me," Ms Banerjee said.

The medical institute is considered to be the largest referral paediatric hospital in the eastern region.

Earlier in September 2002, there were protests in the same hospital when 14 children died of broncho-pneumonia and gastro-enteritis.

(With PTI inputs)

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