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Oxygen Shortage Kills Scores of Children at Indian Hospital

A man holds the lifeless body of his child outside Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Aug. 11, 2017.

An oxygen shortage in a children's ward at a northern Indian hospital is reported to have resulted in the deaths of scores of children in recent days.

The death toll, according to parents and various national and local ministers, ranges from at least 35 children to more than 60 since August 7.

An investigation is underway at Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur city in Uttar Pradesh.

District Magistrate Rajiv Rautela said Saturday the deaths were due to natural causes and denied that the hospital was out of oxygen.

Prashant Tivedi, the state's top health minister told the Associated Press there was a problem with the pipeline that supplies oxygen, but the hospital had sufficient oxygen cylinders for its patients.

Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari has called for the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh. “There are clearly two dimensions to it, that of criminal culpability of all those who are responsible -- the hospital administration, the oxygen supplier and the district administration which is supposed to exercise superintendence over the hospital and the other is the moral responsibility of the chief minister.”

Tiwari said the chief minister and the health minister should resign immediately.