Indian COVID ward fire kills 11

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Eleven patients have died after a fire broke out in a hospital's COVID-19 ward in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

There were 17 patients in the ward in the city of Ahmednagar where the fire started on Saturday, police Inspector Jyoti Karkade said.

The remaining six patients were in stable condition, she said.

The fire was brought under control and the cause was not immediately clear. Officials said they would carry out an investigation.

Such incidents are not uncommon in India. In May, when the country was battling a devastating surge in coronavirus cases, a fire in a COVID-19 ward in western India killed at least 18 patients.

Poor maintenance and lack of proper firefighting equipment often cause deaths in India.

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