Virar Hospital CEO, CAO Arrested for Fire That Killed 15

Dilip Bastimal Shah and Shailesh Dharamdev Pathak were arrested on Sunday and sent to police remand for a day.

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The charred ICU unit of the Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Virar which caught fire due to a malfunctioning AC unit.

The police on Sunday, 25 April, arrested the Chief Executive Officer and the Chief Administrative Officer of Vijay Vallabh Hospital in Maharashtra's Virar, holding them responsible for the fire broke out in the intensive care unit on Friday, 23 April. The blaze claimed the lives of 15 COVID patients.

CEO Dilip Bastimal Shah and CAO Shailesh Dharamdev Pathak were sent to police remand for a day, according to Mahesh Patil, DCP (Crime), Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar Police.

Police investigation had earlier revealed that the explosion had been caught on CCTV. The footage shows that 12-15 seconds after the sparks emanated from an air-conditioner (AC) unit, an explosion rocked the ICU.

According to hospital officials, two patients on the second floor ICU wards were awake and rushed out to the exit on their own. The hospital staff managed to pull two more patients from the floor in the nick of time.

News agency PTI had earlier reported on Saturday, that the police had booked the hospital's directors and management for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and other offences.

A case was registered under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 and 338 (both dealing with rash or negligent act endangering human life) and 38 (acts done by several people in furtherance of common intention) of IPC.

A report by The Indian Express stated that officials at the hospital took around 35 minutes to inform the fire department about the blaze. Earlier this year, the municipal corporation had given the hospital an all-clear after a fire-safety audit.

(With inputs from PTI, The Indian Express)

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