Dhaka: At least 32 people, including 10 newborn babies, have died mysteriously within 24 hours at a major state-run hospital in Bangladesh, prompting government today to launch a ministry level probe into the incident.
Officials and reports said that 32 people have died in 24 hours out of which 10 babies died only within 12 hours yesterday in an overcrowded state-run hospital in northeastern Bangladesh's Sylhet city.
"The (ministry level three-member) committee has been formed with a joint secretary as its head to look into the matter... If any abnormality is found, the government will take necessary steps," state minister for health and family welfare Zahid Malek said today.
Details of the 22 people who died in 24 hours were not immediately available.
The high level probe was initiated alongside an enquiry already launched by the Osmany Medical College and Hospital authority.
"Five of the 10 babies were neonatal who were born only yesterday and the oldest among the children was a one and half year old child," an official of the Hospital told PTI.
Deputy director of the facility Abdus Salam said the newborns apparently died of breathing problem, complexities during delivery and pneumonia.
"But we formed a four-member committee with a senior professor to investigate into the deaths... They have been asked to submit their findings in next 24 hours," Salam said.
Panic-stricken patients and relatives of other children, who were being treated at the facility, sought to take their babies away after witnessing these deaths within hours, media reports said.
Victims' families, meanwhile, blamed "doctors' negligence" for the deaths, TV reports showed.
Salam said the hospital generally witnesses deaths of three to four neonatal everyday due to different post-delivery complexities but admitted 'this time the number of deaths is unusual'.