The death toll in the blaze at a Mumbai hospital Tuesday rose to eight, with two more persons succumbing to injuries overnight, civic officials said.
It is official figure now eight people, including a 5-month-old baby girl, died and 157 were injured after a massive fire swept through the state government-run Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital at Andheri East on Monday.
“Altogether 176 persons, including three firemen, are now being treated in city hospitals,” an official from Disaster Management Unit of BMC said.
Among the admitted, over 25 are critical while 26 have been discharged after primary treatment, ” he said.
“Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour & Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of those who lost their lives in the accident, Rs 2 lakh each for those who have serious injuries and Rs 1 lakh each for those with minor injuries,” a labour ministry statement said.
A total of 147 people, including patients and visitors, were rescued after the fire broke out at the hospital at Marol in suburban Andheri, said an official of the Disaster Management Cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). According to the fire brigade, more than 200 people were inside the hospital at the time.
While the exact cause of the blaze was being ascertained, the preliminary report said that building material, kept at the ground floor of the hospital for renovation work caught fire, the ministry said in the statement.
Deputy Medical Superintendent, Reshma Verma was also taken to a nearby hospital as she fainted due to suffocation while rescuing the admitted patients, the statement said, adding that a detailed report was awaited.
The labour minister held a meeting with officials of his ministry and ESIC here and directed them to extend all the possible help to the kin of the victims. A team of doctors from ESIC, Delhi was rushed to Mumbai for this purpose, the statement said.
Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer of the Mumbai Fire Brigade, said many of those trapped were rescued from a common terrace of an under-construction new block of the hospital building.
The fire brigade pressed 10 fire engines, one rescue van, and 19 ambulances to the scene. Rahangdale added that the fire was brought under control by 7.20 pm and completely put off by 8 pm.
Fire brigade officials said that for over 40 years, the old hospital building was being run with a provisional fire no-objection certificate and was still awaiting a final NOC from the fire department.
Milind Ogale, deputy fire officer from MIDC, said, “We had visited the under-construction building and we found some flaws that we asked them to rectify. Also, some changes were sought in the old building. They were given provisional NOC and they are carrying out necessary changes,” said Ogale. He added that it was an accident.
Prashant Sapkale, assistant commissioner of K East ward said that the area falls under the MIDC and all permissions from commencement certificate to fire NOC is given by the MIDC authority.
According to the doctors, most of the injured patients suffered due to smoke. Speaking about the medical condition of the patients admitted, Dr Rajesh Sukhdeve, medical superintendent of Cooper Hospital, said, “One of the patients have a broken spinal cord as he jumped off the building to save his life. One fireman is in critical condition. Other patients have been admitted to the general ward.”
Hospital staff and locals showed their presence of mind and helped the fire brigade to rescue people trapped in the accident spot .
Other Hospital fires in the recent years :
October 3, 2018: Fire breaks out in the pharmacy & storeroom at the ground floor of the state-run Calcutta Medical College and Hospital building. Dead: 1
October 17, 2017: 45-year-old patient dies due to “suffocation” after a fire breaks out at a private hospital in Warangal city of Telangana. Over 400 people, including 190 patients, are rescued. Dead: 1
October 17, 2016: Suspected electric short circuit in the dialysis ward triggers massive blaze at Sum Hospital in Bhubaneswar. Dead: 22; injured: 12
December 9, 2011: Fire sweeps AMRI hospital in Dhakuria of south Kolkata. Dead: 93