Ahmedabad: Eight patients in the ICU ward of a private COVID-19 designated hospital died after fire broke out there on Thursday, a fire official said.

A healthcare worker was also injured in the fire, the official added.

As the blaze broke out at the Shrey Hospital in Ahmedabad's Navrangpura area at around 3 am, eight fire engines and 10 ambulances of the fire department were rushed to the site. Five men and three women - admitted to the ICU ward - died.

About 45 patients were admitted to the 50-bed hospital at the time of accident; rest of them have been rescued and shifted to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, a civic hospital in the city, an official said.

The cause of the fire is not known yet, he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths in his home state. "Saddened by the tragic hospital fire in Ahmedabad. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Spoke to CM  @vijayrupanibjp Ji and Mayor @ibijalpatel Ji regarding the situation. Administration is providing all possible assistance to the affected (sic)," he tweeted.

Visuals from the site showed the fire officials carrying out rescue operations as family members of the patients outside the hospital - disturbed as the news of fire broke - tried to get more information about them. 

"Ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the hospital fire in Ahmedabad. Rs. 50,000 each would be given to those injured due to the hospital fire," a tweet by the Prime Minister's office read.

Sources said the blaze broke out due to a short circuit. The bodies of the eight patients have been taken for postmortem.