Alleged oxygen shortages kill 60 children at India hospital

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The Chief Minister had earlier said it would be a "heinous act" if the deaths were caused by a disruption in the supply of oxygen.

At least 70 children have died since August 10 in Gorakhpur's BRD Medical College Hospital amid allegations that a private contractor stopped supplying oxygen cylinders. The issue of settlement of the pending money is what costed the lives of little ones.

The BRD Medical College specified that 34 were babies who died at the neo-natal intensive care unit, while 12 died because of encephalitis.

Adityanath, who represents Gorakhpur in Lok Sabha, turned emotional and recalled his fight against encephalitis that has killed over 50,000 children in eastern UP in the last three decades, including almost 3,000 in BRD medical college since 2012.

His comment came in the backdrop of strident criticism of the minister by opposition parties which demanded his resignation.

Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav also informed that a Samajwadi Party delegation would be visiting Gorakhpur and said the state government and administration are hiding crucial facts in the case.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh has assured quick action against those involved in the alleged disruption in the supply of liquid oxygen.

Kafeel Khan, a hospital doctor, also said the cause of death was not lack of oxygen.

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"I sent the DG Medical Education on Friday after the media reported the deaths in the medical college hospital".

However, a statement issued by the hospital said there had been a "drop in pressure in the supply of liquid oxygen" on Thursday, adding that cylinders were procured from various other suppliers.

Incidentally, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the medical college two days ago - it falls in his Lok Sabha constituency - and inspected the paediatric ward.

"There haven't been any deaths due to lack of oxygen supply".

"That's the time when the death of the children peaked", said Mritunjaya Singh, whose seven-month old son was admitted to the hospital and was not among the dead.

"This incident took place due to the laxity on the part of state government. I want to assure you all that not only in Gorakhpur but in any government hospital if there has been any lapse then we will take strict action after the BRD hospital tragedy", he said.

The office of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that Modi was "monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur" and was in touch with state authorities.

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