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At least twenty-two patients have died after an oxygen leak at a hospital in India treating people for Covid, the health minister has confirmed.

The incident happed outside Dr Zakir Hussain Hospital in Maharashtra's Nashik on Wednesday afternoon, local reports said.

A leakage was reported from an oxygen tanker while refilling, IndiaTVnews said.

It reportedly caused the oxygen supply to be stopped for nearly 30 minutes.

Firefighters helped hospital and local authority officials trying to fix the leak but patients died due to the lack of oxygen support.

"As per the current information, 22 people have died due to the interrupted supply of oxygen at the Zakir Hussain municipal hospital.

The patients were on ventilators as well as on oxygen supply, which got interrupted after the leakage in the oxygen supply tank," district collector Suraj Mandhare said.

State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that leakage must have affected the supply of oxygen inside the hospital, adding that accountability will be fixed.

"Due to the valves leakage of the tanker in Nashik, there was massive Oxygen leakage. Definitely, this would have affected the supply inside the hospital. I am yet to gather more information. We will issue a press note after gathering more information," he said.

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FDA Minister Dr Rajendra Shingane said, "It is an unfortunate incident. As per preliminary information, we have learnt that 11 people died. We are trying to get a detailed report. We have ordered an enquiry as well. Those who are responsible will not be spared."

Nashik Municipal Commissioner Kailash Shinde said that the supply from the plant was halted after the leakage.

He added that several patients are in a critical condition and all possible steps are being taken by the doctors to save lives.

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Shinde said that there are 700 patients admitted to the hospital and that the oxygen sypply has been restored.

Meanwhile, NCP leader Majeed Memon said that those responsible must be punished.

"Leakage of Oxygen from tanker in Nasik has caused loss of several litres of oxygen and panic in the Hospital.

"Those responsible for negligence must be identified and punished," he tweeted.

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