60 Children Died At Public Hospital In India, Power Was Shut Off Over Unpaid Bills

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At least 60 children have died at a public hospital in northern India, amid allegations that the oxygen supply was cut over unpaid bills. Officials in Uttar Pradesh state admitted the supply had been disrupted but said this did not cause the deaths.

The head of a hospital where dozens of children died in recent days has been suspended, as officials traded blame over cash shortfalls that led to supplies of medical oxygen being cut.

The government of Uttar Pradesh state, run by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), suspended the head of the state-run BRD Medical College, Rajeev Misra, late on Saturday and ordered an investigation.

Indian media have said the deaths of 60 children, 34 infants among them, were caused in part by oxygen shortages after a private supplier cut the supply over unpaid bills.

Hospital officials deny lack of oxygen caused the deaths, saying alternative supplies were found, and blamed many of the deaths instead on encephalitis and unspecified issues related to delivery of the infants.

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