Families from Blackburn and Preston have helped to raise more than £181,000 for an Indian hospital devastated by a fire.

A GoFundMe page was set up by Irfana Patel and her brother Yusuf whose late grandfather Haji Mohammed Patel had helped to set up the Bharuch Welfare Hospital, based in Gujerat, India. Mr Patel was the brother of Lord Adam Patel of Blackburn.

The fire ravaged the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Covid ward, that their father, the late Haji Salim Mohmed Patel had also established. Sadly 18 people lost their lives in the fire which happened at the height of the Covid pandemic in the country on May 1.

The hospital has been key in providing frontline care in Bharuch where a large number of families from the Indian community from Lancashire hail from.

In response to the tragedy the family decided to raise funds for the hospital.

Irfana of Preston told us: “That night I, along with my family started a Go Fund Me Page and within 24 hours we had raised 100,000. Today just over 10 days later we are on £180,000. The support has been amazing.”

The GoFundMe page reads: “At this critical stage, it is easy to feel helpless, but there's plenty you can do to help. This is an Emergency Appeal to raise money for those affected and for the hospital, so they can continue the essential care that the community so desperately needs.

“The funds will be received directly by the Bharuch Welfare and Medical Trust which is a registered UK charity (1011781).

“India and it's people need our help right now. Please share, donate and help in any way you can.”

You can still donate here