In a bizzare and tragic incident on January 31, 2009 five babies were burnt to death while receiving photo-therapy for jaundice ( generally a benign condition in newborns) in a neonatal unit at Rajendra Hospital in Patiala. Rajendra Hospital is a medical college hospital, run by Punjab Government.
The five new born babies were burnt alive and two others were seriously injuried when the incubators they were kept in caught fire. A total of 10 children, undergoing treatment for jaundice were kept in phototherapy units. Reportedly, a short circuit in the wires of the machine resulted in the fire, charring five infants to death including three boys and two girls.
In the aftermath, After suspending four officials, including a staff nurse, junior doctor and principal of Rajendra medical College Hospital – Minister for Health Education,Punjab, Tikshan Sood has taken the moral responsibility for factors, both under and beyond control, that led to tragic demise of five children yesterday. Mr. Sood -a BJP MLA- has reportedly resigned. Good step at least!
Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has expressed sadness at the death of five infants . A sum of Rupees 1 lakh from the Prime Minsiter Relief Fund has been sanctioned for each of the families of the victims.