18 die in hospital as floods cut power
NEW DELHI (AP):
Severe floods that have hit the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu killed 18 hospital patients last week after rain waters knocked out generators and switched off ventilators.
State authorities were investigating complaints of negligence by officials at MIOT International Hospital in the state capital of Chennai, which is reeling from massive floods.
The 18 patients were in the intensive care unit when a power outage affected ventilators in the hospital, leading to their deaths over the past two to three days, said state Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan.
He said that flood waters entered the room with the generators, cutting off power to the building and switching off the ventilators.
More than 280 people have died due to the floods in Chennai, a city of 9.6 million, and nearby districts, including several who were killed due to electric shocks from power distribution boxes that had been submerged by flood waters.
Authorities have turned off power supplies in some areas to prevent accidental deaths.
Army soldiers using boats have rescued thousands of residents marooned in high-rise buildings and launched massive relief operations to provide food and medicine.
Although flood waters have begun to recede, vast swaths of Chennai and neighbouring districts were still under two to three metres (eight to 10 feet) of water, with tens of thousands of people in state-run relief camps.