9 dead as fire devastates hospital inside Mumbai shopping center | India News
Firefighters try to put out a fire that broke out in a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) hospital in Mumbai (Reuters)
Nine patients died on Friday after a fire ripped through Sunrise Hospital, a Covid care center in the Bhandup area of Mumbai, located inside a shopping mall marked for violations.
All but one of the 107-bed hospital victims were seniors. Two other bodies recovered were from patients who had died from Covid previously, the hospital said. In all, 78 patients were knocked down with ladders and elevators or pulled out by firefighters using the Dreams Mall stairs. The 11 who succumbed were declared dead upon reaching other hospitals. Asphyxia was cited as the reason.
CM Uddhav Thackeray, who visited the site, promised to punish the culprits and apologized to the families of the victims. It also announced compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the relatives of each victim.
Authorities said the hospital inside Dreams Mall was first proposed in 2014, but the plan stalled. It operated with a provisional certificate of occupancy issued in May 2020 by the BMC, although the building that housed it had received notices for construction irregularities and fire safety violations.
The cause of the fire that caused the deaths has yet to be determined, a fire department official said. However, he said the flames appeared to have spread from the first floor of the mall. The hospital was located on the third floor and the first floor had home decor and jewelry stores.
Authorities said Sunrise Hospital was first proposed in 2014, but the plan stalled. Finally, it operated with a provisional Certificate of Occupancy granted in May 2020 by the BMC, although the building that houses it had received notices for irregularities in construction and violations of fire safety.
By the way, the basement, the first and second floors had failed to make the fire department “all clear”. However, Sunrise Hospital applied for and quickly obtained a ‘NOC’ from the same department. “The fact that there were not enough ducts to let the smoke out after the fire started shows that the go-ahead was given without a rigorous fire safety audit,” an official said.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, who visited the site, said that action will be taken against those responsible. He apologized to the families of the victims and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the relatives of each victim.
An official said the fire brigade would send a notice to the mall and the hospital under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act of 2006.
Uddhav said that last year the state granted temporary permission to some hospitals to improve health infrastructure to treat Covid-19 patients; the permit granted to the Bhandup hospital was due to end on March 31, he said. He ordered the administration to conduct an audit of all hospitals within any structure.