Five coronavirus patients were killed in a fire at the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur city on Saturday, The Times of India reported.

The fire broke out on the first floor of the hospital, where 34 patients were admitted. Nine of them were in the intensive care unit. A short circuit is believed to have caused the fire.

A supervisor saw smoke coming out of the intensive care unit and informed the hospital authorities, who alerted the police about the incident. The fire brigade and hospital staff rescued the patients. It took about an hour to extinguish the fire, the newspaper reported.

The police told The Times of India that four patients died of suffocation, while the fifth died of burn injuries. Twenty-nine patients were shifted to other hospitals.

“These patients were Covid-positive and some were on oxygen support, which would have been disrupted due to the fire,” an unidentified official said, according to The Indian Express.

Raipur Senior Superintendent of Police Ajay Yadav said that a first information report will be filed against the hospital management for negligence, according to The Times of India.

Raipur Collector Bharathi Dasan ordered an investigation into the incident. Officials have been directed to conduct safety check at all coronavirus hospitals in the city.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the families of the patients killed in the fire.