Sixty children die in Indian hospital amid furor over oxygen supplies

Sixty children die in Indian hospital amid furor over oxygen supplies

But he too denied the lack of oxygen as the cause of death of 23 children, who died on the very same day.

Principal of the BRD Medical College R.K. Mishra was suspended for alleged negligence and callousness. He also told the opposition not to "politicize" the issue.

"Strict action should be taken", tweeted former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed sadness over the death of children in Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

Reacting to the incident, Congress President Sonia Gnadhi said " I am pained beyond words by the tragic deaths of 30 children in Gorakhpur. "Go to wards (of hospitals) and report from there".

At least a dozen children are said to have died from encephalitis - a disease causing inflammation of the brain, common during India's monsoon season and which is often caused by contaminated food, water or mosquito bites.

The incident comes barely two days after the visit of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to the hospital to review its functioning.

"We have been told that the BRD Hospital witnessed disturbance in liquid oxygen supply since last night as the private firm withdrew supply owing to non-payment", district magistrate Rajeev Rautela told the media.

Health minister Singh gave a detailed account of the deaths, stressing that none of them had been caused due to disruption of oxygen supply. "The state government is fully responsible for it", Ghulam Nabi Azad, a senior leader of India's main opposition Congress party, said late Saturday.

The chief minister said he had asked the officials during his August 9 meeting about the issues such as encephalitis, dengue, kala-azar, swine flu and chikunguniya besides what all they required. Taking to Twitter, it also informed that Minister of state for health Anupriya Patel and the Union health secretary will take stock of the situation in the state. "Why was there a delay in the payment, why was the supply of oxygen stopped-these aspects will be probed by a panel", he said.

CM also presented the figure of deaths of children in the last 5 days.

One uncle of an 11-year-old girl, Vandana, who died at the hospital, echoed local media reports about the chaos. "This incident took place due to the laxity on the part of the state government".