A hospital official admitted that some children had died owing to the shortage of oxygen but he refused to specify the number of deaths.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.as medical practitioners and relatives - the tanks running dry - handed out manual resuscitator bags to families in a desperate attempt to save the tiny patients.
They said that around ten children had died on Thursday while ten others breathed their last on Friday. "My son was fine until nighttime, then something wrong happened".
The Divisional Commissioner, talking to UNI, claimed that such deaths are not abnormal in the medical college but did not give any reason that why he has ordered the probe.
State Health Minister Siddarth Nath Singh told TV channels that "a lot of people come suffering from high fever and if they don't get treatment, it may result in death".
The managing editor of Times Now Navika Kumar said on her show, "The debate is on Vande Mataram, you are bringing up this issue because you are running away from "real" issue". As the hospital ran out of oxygen, reportedly, the staff, accompanied by the patients' kin tried to provide artificial respiration using AMBU (artificial manual breathing unit) bags. This is not a tragedy.
India's Nobel Peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi, a campaigner for children's rights, described the deaths as "a massacre" on Twitter. Next week is India's 70th anniversary of independence from Britain, and some scholars made the connection.
This after the initial agreement with the hospital which clearly mentions that arrears would not be more than Rs 10 lakh. But as the cost was not paid, the oxygen supply was allegedly stopped, resulting in the tragic incident.
Senior Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Raj Babbar are scheduled to visit the hospital on Saturday.
"No one stops supplying oxygen just like that".
Officials in Uttar Pradesh state admitted the supply had been disrupted but said this did not cause the deaths. He confirmed that the causality took place due to lack of oxygen (supply)... Moreover, they have three suppliers.
Since the news broke, the Opposition has been demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The incident comes two days after CM Yogi Adityanath visited the hospital to review its functioning.
"Many of the severe cases are transferred to this hospital, which saves each day the death of a dozen children".
Some of the children had been treated for encephalitis, a disease that preys on the young and malnourished and is rampant in the state during the monsoon season, which runs from June till September.
"There was some problem in the oxygen pipeline at night". Deepankar Sharma of the firm said the BRD authorities were well informed about the disposition. "I could not understand how he died so soon", he said.