ESIC Hospital fire: Toll now nine as 65-year-old succumbs, two arrestedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/esic-hospital-fire-toll-now-nine-as-65-year-old-succumbs-two-arrested-5501320/

ESIC Hospital fire: Toll now nine as 65-year-old succumbs, two arrested

Based on the fire brigade’s preliminary findings that sparks from a welding machine caused the fire, the police filed a case against Supreme Constructions, the firm contracted to carry out repair works at the ESIC Hospital.

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An empty ward at the hospital. (Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

The toll in the ESIC Hospital fire climbed to nine after 65-year-old Sheela Morwekar succumbed to multiple complications, including sepsis and cardiac problems, on Wednesday morning while undergoing treatment at Seven Hills Hospital. Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police arrested a site supervisor and his assistant on Wednesday.

Based on the fire brigade’s preliminary findings that sparks from a welding machine caused the fire, the police filed a case against Supreme Constructions, the firm contracted to carry out repair works at the ESIC Hospital.

The MIDC police arrested site supervisor Nilesh Mehta and assistant site supervisor Nitin Kamble and booked them for causing death due to negligence and committing an act that endangers the safety of others under the IPC. “We are also looking for two welders working at the site and will arrest them soon,” said N D Reddy, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone X.

On Wednesday, 117 injured remained admitted at various hospitals, of which 15 are in a serious condition. Morwekar was on ventilator support at the ESIC Hospital following a brain stroke and cardiac problems. When the fire broke out, she was evacuated and taken in an ambulance to Seven Hills Hospital. “We started treatment immediately, but she was in a critical condition,” a doctor said.

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According to Dr Lakshmi Sadhotra, vice-president of Seven Hills Hospital, Morwekar remained critical and on ventilator support for two days. “Since she was on oxygen support when the fire started, she did not suffer suffocation. Her death seems to be due to chronic illness,” she said. The body was sent to Dr RN Cooper Hospital for a postmortem on Wednesday.

At Seven Hills, 37 patients continue to remain admitted, of which five are on intensive care support. Thirty others remain admitted at Holy Spirit Hospital, including seven who are serious. Ambrose Pillai, admitted for diabetes and septicaemia at the ESIC Hospital, suffered from suffocation due to smoke inhalation. He remains critical with intensive care support ever since he was rushed to Holy Spirit. His wife Shanti Pillai also suffered breathing problems when the fire broke out at the hospital. “She is better now and does not require intensive care support since Tuesday. We have one more patient of pneumonia, who is serious,” said Dr Pankaj Malewade, chief medical officer at Holy Spirit.

Five newborns, including a pair of premature twins, remain in the neonatal intensive care unit and will require hospitalisation for a few more days.

At Dr RN Cooper Hospital, 22 remain admitted and one was discharged on Wednesday. According to a medical officer, two patients are critically injured. Pramod Mourya (60) suffered paraplegia and harm-thorax after he injured his back in an attempt to jump off a window of the ESIC Hospital. “He suffered decompression of the dorsal cord. His family has been counselled about the risks,” the medical officer said. Another patient remain in the intensive care unit.

Dr Harbans Bawa, medical superintendent at Jogeshwari Trauma Hospital, said five patients who required dialysis support had to be referred to other hospitals. “We have 18 patients, all suffering from breathing issues but stable in hospital,” he said.

In Siddharth Hospital, one remained admitted and in Hiranandani Hospital two remained admitted as on Wednesday.