Three babies die in Indian hospital after allegedly drunk staff member cuts off oxygen supply

NEW DELHI (Xinhua) - Three infants died in a government-run hospital in India's central Chhattisgarh state after a hospital employee, who was allegedly drunk, accidentally switched off the oxygen supply, officials said Monday (Aug 21).

The deaths were reported at Bhimrao Ambedkar hospital in Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has ordered immediate investigation into the deaths and said the guilty would not be spared.

"The employee responsible for supplying oxygen was drunk," Mr Singh said. "The director is looking into it."

Reports said an employee of the hospital was meant to monitor oxygen supply but was allegedly drunk during duty hours. He accidentally switched off the oxygen supply to the children's ward and dozed off. The oxygen supply reportedly remained affected for three hours, causing the deaths.

The employee has been arrested by police.

The incident comes days after 63 children died due to lack of oxygen at a medical college hospital in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The deaths triggered outrage and highlighted loopholes in the country's healthcare system.