Oxygen supply disruption kills 22 COVID-19 patients in Western India hospital

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Twenty-two COVID-19 patients on ventilators died in a hospital in western India on Wednesday when their oxygen supply was interrupted by a leak in a supply line, officials said.

Suraj Mandhar, the district collector, said the supply of oxygen has since resumed to other patients.

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Fire officer Sanjay Bairagi said the leak was halted by the fire service within 15 minutes, but there was supply disruption in the Zakir Hussain Hospital in Nashik, a city in Maharashtra state that is the worst hit by the latest surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

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Television images showed white fumes spreading in the hospital area, causing panic.

Surinder Sonone, a police officer, said the leak occurred in a pipe connecting the oxygen supply to the main tank in the hospital complex.

Five of the 140 COVID-19 patients were shifted to another hospital, he said.

The state government ordered an investigation of the leak, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

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