Mumbai: Six booked for 'mall hospital' fire
Police has registered an offense of culpable homicide against six persons in connection with the fire at a Bhandup mall, which claimed the lives of nine coronavirus patients undergoing treatment at a hospital located there, an official said on Saturday. Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd. promoter Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang, who are directors of the mall, also feature in the FIR.
Management of the mall and hospital named in FIR
The management of the Dreams Mall and the Sunrise Hospital, a COVID-19 facility, was named in the FIR that was registered at Bhandup Police Station late night on Friday. "Rakesh Wadhawan, Nikita Trehan, Sarang Wadhawan, and Deepak Shirke, directors of the mall, and Amit Singh Trehan, Nikita Trehan, and Sweety Jain, directors of the hospital are named in the FIR," the official said.
Police found several safety lapses during the investigation
The case against the directors was registered under IPC Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 34 (common intention), the Bhandup Police Station official said. "During the probe conducted so far, police found several lapses at the mall. There is mismanagement in terms of security and the fire safety equipment was not checked on time," he added.
Around 450 shops in the mall are not operational
It was found that although there are 1,108 shops in the mall, nearly 40 percent of them are shut and not in operation, the official said. "In January, the Sunrise Hospital was converted into a COVID-19 Care Centre," he further added.
Fire erupted in a shop, spread to hospital
To recall, the fire had broken out in the mall shortly after Thursday midnight. It erupted in a shop and spread to the hospital located on the top floor of the four-story building. Nine COVID-19 patients died due to suffocation, while two other patients at the hospital had already died due to coronavirus before the fire broke out, the BMC had said.
Hospital was a temporary COVID-19 facility
Altogether 78 patients were being treated at the 107-bed hospital when the fire broke out, the BMC said, adding that 67 patients were shifted to other hospitals after the blaze. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who visited the spot on Friday afternoon, said that permission was granted to the hospital last year to run a COVID-19 center temporarily.