Bodies of 14 people, nine men and five women, who died in a private hospital in Chennai, were brought to the Royapettah Government Hospital in the city for postmortem.
The resident medical officer of the government hospital confirmed that all the bodies had come from MIOT Hospital in Manapakkam in Chennai. Initial reports said that the patients were all critical and were on life support at the hospital. However, the authorities at MIOT hospital could not be reached for comment.
Relatives of the patients claimed that the critical care systems failed because of lack of power at MIOT Hospital, because of heavy flooding over the last few days.
Health department officals said they had received requests from MIOT Hospital for oxygen cylinders and boats, all of which were supplied. Last afternoon, some patients were shifted to other nearby hospitals, considering the situation at the hospital. The 14 patients had died over at least two days, December 2 and 3, they added.
Director of Medical Education S. Geethalakshmi told reporters that “they had received 14 bodies from MIOT Hospital and the hospital had told authorities that most of the patients had been in a critical condition and had died of natural causes.”
Nobody from the MIOT Hospital was present at the Royapettah hospital, where the bodies are now maintained. When asked whether they were in possession of any case records, Dr. Geethalakshmi said they are trying to get access to them to investigate the true cause of death.
There are a total of 49 bodies at Government Royapettah Hospital, including flood victims, that have come in over the past couple of days, according to sources. Hospital administrators said they had created a special helpdesk to help members of the public identify their kin.