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Mumbai fire: 8 dead in hospital blaze, over 170 injured — all you need to know

Mumbai hospital fire: Blaming the hospital for not taking adequate safety measures, a fire official said he had inspected the hospital a fortnight ago and found the firefighting facilities there were not as per norms.

Mumbai hospital fire, Mumbai ESIC hospital fire, Mumbai hospital fire death toll Mumbai hospital fire: Rescue work proceeding at ESIC Kamgar hospital following a Fire on Monday evening. (Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

The toll in the major fire that broke out in a Mumbai hospital Monday evening rose to eight Tuesday after two more persons succumbed to injuries overnight. At least 170 people were injured and admitted to seven hospitals in the city in the fire at government-run Employee State Insurance (ESIC) hospital at the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) premises in Mumbai’s Andheri East.

The injured included five infants who were barely a few days old. “Altogether 176 persons, including three firemen, are now being treated in city hospitals. Among the admitted, over 25 are critical while 26 have been discharged after primary treatment,” an official from Disaster Management Unit of BMC said. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

How did the Mumbai hospital fire break out?

According to the Disaster Management cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the fire broke out on the fourth floor of the five-storeyed hospital building around 4 pm. As the blaze spread further, officials declared it as level-4 fire. Firefighters managed to control the fire by 7.30 pm. The 325-bedded hospital is a busy facility with surgery and gynaecology wards as well as an Out-Patients Department. Over 300 people were inside the hospital at the time of the incident.

After the first call to the fire brigade was received at a little past 4 pm, 10 fire engines, six jumbo water tankers, six water lines, 12 motor pumps, three-turntable ladders were pressed into service. The injured were rushed to Cooper Hospital, Holy Spirit Hospital, Siddharth Hospital P Thackeray Trauma Hospital, Hiranandani Hospital, Shatabdi Hospital, and Seven Hills hospital.

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Mumbai hospital fire, Mumbai ESIC hospital fire, Mumbai hospital fire death toll Mumbai hospital fire: As the blaze continued to spread further, officials declared it as level 4 category fire. (Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Mumbai hospital has no fire NOC

Blaming the hospital for not taking adequate safety measures, a fire official said he had inspected the hospital a fortnight ago and found the firefighting facilities to be in violation of the norms. “We had inspected both buildings 15 days ago and found several lapses in fire safety. We rejected their NOC. Thus, the building also didn’t have an OC,” said V M Ogale, Deputy Fire Officer of MIDC fire station. The hospital has been in operation since 1973 and was renovating certain blocks for the last eight years.

The stock of combustible rubber rolls led to the excessive smoke, firemen said. Ogale added that an investigation will be conducted later into reports that combustible material stored on the ground floor added to the damage from the fire.

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Questions about fire safety measures remain

Six-month-old infant among dead in Mumbai hospital fire

An unidentified baby girl, barely six-months-old, succumbed to injuries at the Holy Spirit Hospital last night. Doctors suspect she had inhaled fumes. “Her clothes had black soot. Nurses who brought her in said she wasn’t an in-patient, as she had no tubes on her body. It is possible she was accompanying a patient,” said Dr Pankaj Malewade, casualty medical officer at Holy Spirit.

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Fire officials said that none of the bodies was charred, indicating that the deaths were caused by suffocation and smoke inhalation or from trauma injuries sustained upon jumping from a higher floor.

First published on: 18-12-2018 at 11:36:24 am
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