In a shocking incident, at least 22 COVID-19 patients who were on life support were killed in an oxygen tanker leak incident at Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Maharashtra’s Nashik district on Wednesday.

A leakage was reported from an oxygen tanker while refilling, prompting the hospital and local administration officials to take measures to fix the leak.

According to reports, the patients died due to interrupted supply of oxygen. The leakage caused oxygen supply to be halted for nearly 30 minutes.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced Rs 5 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of the deceased who lost their lives in the incident.

According to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office, a high-level inquiry has been ordered to probe the Nashik incident. The Chief Minister further said that the incident will be investigated in depth.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed condolences on the loss of lives in the incident.

“The tragedy at a hospital in Nashik because of oxygen tank leakage is heart-wrenching. Anguished by the loss of lives due to it. Condolences to the bereaved families in this sad hour,” tweeted the Prime Minister.

“I am distressed to hear the news of the accident caused by oxygen leakage in a hospital in Nashik. I express my deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in this incident. I pray to God for the well-being of all the other patients,” Shah tweeted in Hindi.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that the situation is under control now.

Meanwhile, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Minister Rajendra Shingane said: “It is an unfortunate incident. We are trying to get a detailed report. We have ordered an enquiry as well. Anyone found responsible will not be spared.”

Several states are facing a shortage of medical oxygen, especially Maharashtra.

As many as 58,924 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Maharashtra in the last 24 hours, according to the state health ministry. 52,412 people recovered in the said period and 351 died.

The total case tally has reached 38,98,262 while the death toll stands at 60,824.