Mumbai: Ten dead in hospital fire, says fire department official
(Sourced from PTI)
Ten patients died after a fire broke out at a hospital inside a mall in Mumbai where coronavirus patients were being treated, a fire brigade official said on Friday. It is not clear how many of those dead were COVID-19 patients. There was also no word from civic officials on how many of those evacuated from the hospital were being treated for coronavirus.
The fire broke out at the Sunrise Hospital in the Dreams Mall building in the Bhandup area shortly after midnight. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who visited the spot in the afternoon said there was approval for starting a temporary coronavirus treatment facility there.
The hospital has so far confirmed two deaths, adding that both were coronavirus patients who were already dead when the fire broke out. It said there were no deaths in the fire. The differing versions of the hospital and fire brigade could not be immediately reconciled. Situated on the top floor of the four-story building, the hospital had 76 patients.
The blaze comes amid an upsurge in coronavirus cases in Mumbai. On Thursday, the city logged 5,504 new infections, the highest daily count since the pandemic began. The cause of the level four fire (serious emergency call in fire brigade parlance) has not been ascertained, the BMC control room sources said. Twenty fire engines, 15 water tankers, and ambulances were rushed to the spot.
Many patients were evacuated by the fire brigade and shifted to another hospital, the official said, adding fire personnel are checking if any patient is still stuck there. Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar who visited the site expressed surprise that a hospital was operating inside the mall. "I have seen a hospital at a mall for the first time," the mayor said.
The hospital in a statement said, "There was a fire on the first floor of Dreams Mall, Bhandup, and the smoke reached up to the Sunrise Hospital located on the top floor." "When fire alarms beeped, all patients were safely evacuated to the fire refuge area as the smoke was reaching the hospital," it further said.
The BMC had issued notice to the mall in November last year for allegedly flouting fire safety norms. Former NCP-MP Sanjay Patil said that he had also written to the BMC commissioner last year drawing his attention to the flouting of fire safety norms there.