60 children die in hospital as oxygen supplier withdraws over unpaid debts 

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Sixty children have died at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh, India, this week, prompting local media to blame the fatalities on a lack of oxygen supplies. The BRD Medical College specified that 34 were babies who died at the neo-natal intensive care unit, while 12 died because of encephalitis.

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The rest died of other unspecified causes. Local media reports have said some of the deaths were caused due to an oxygen shortage after a private supplier withdrew its equipment over unpaid hospital dues.

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BRD Medical Chief Medical Superintendent Dr R.S. Shukla denied the deaths had been caused by a lack of oxygen supplies when asked by Reuters. The hospital, in a statement, said there had been a “drop in pressure in the supply of liquid oxygen” on Thursday, but added cylinders were procured from various other suppliers.

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It did not specify whether that had resulted in any deaths. The breakdown of the death toll provided by the hospital showed a spike on Thursday, with 23 fatalities, including 14 babies at its neo-natal unit. The government is investigating the matter.

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