(NEW DELHI) — At least 30 children have died in the past two days at a public hospital in northern India, according to officials, as critics allege the oxygen supply was cut over unpaid bills.
Officials in the Uttar Pradesh state said the oxygen supply at the Baba Raghav Das hospital in Gorakhpur district had been “disrupted,” but did not cause the deaths.
“There was some payment issue to the oxygen supplier,” district official Anil Kumar said according to the BBC, adding the “deaths were not due to lack of oxygen.”
Since Monday, at least 60 children have died, and most of the victims were in the neonatal unit or being treated for encephalitis, the BBC reports.
A statement from the hospital did not say why so many children had died in the two-day period, but said “the pressure of the liquid oxygen supply became low,” according to the BBC.
Government officials have opened an investigation into the incident, and a tweet from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “constantly monitoring the situation in Gorakhpur.”
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