Mumbai Hospital Fire: 6-Month-Old Among 8 Others Dead; 28 Critically Injured
A major fire that engulfed Mumbai’s Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital in Andheri (East) on Monday, December 17 has now seen the death toll rise to eight people, including a two-month-old baby. Reportedly, 145 have been injured in the fire, while 28 others were in critical condition.
The fire, which was initially level three, was reported from the fourth floor but later increased to level four. Reportedly, fire department officials said that at 4:54 pm on Monday, the level increased to a four which is considered as a major incident.
The massive fire trapped people on the terrace and in the corridors. Fire engines, water tankers, ambulances and turntable ladders were sent by the fire department for the rescue operation.
The fire spread upwards from the ground floor, where rubber ducts were stored. The exact reason for the blaze is yet to be ascertained. A total of 10 fire engines, six water tankers, ladders and 16 ambulances were assigned the task of rescuing the trapped people and to douse the fire, reported Hindustan Times.
Hospital accused of overlooking lapses
NDTV reported an official as saying that the hospital had failed a fire safety check just two weeks ago.
“The hospital has been in a terrible condition for years now. There is construction going on and at the same time, patients are being treated inside the hospital. The patients are in continuous threat of deterioration because of the pollution caused by the construction,” said a hospital employee in conversation with The Logical Indian.
“Apart from that, there are no fire exits in the hospital. The only one that is there was blocked due to the fire. There is no equipment to bring the situation under control either, just like it happened this time. This is not the first time. There have been incidents of fire breakout earlier too, but since they were not massive, they were simply overlooked. We have complained to authorities in the hospital so that some steps are taken for the overall improvement of the building, but nobody paid heed to what we had to say,” he added.
However, Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, Mumbai Mayor, said that strict measures will be taken if lapses are found. He said, “Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is responsible for the fire audits, whether they carried out fire audits or not, that will be investigated.” Also, Rs 10 lakh will be given as compensation to the next of the kin of those who died in the fire.
Other major fires in Mumbai
This is not the first instance of fire in Mumbai. The tragic Kamala Mills Fire in December 2017 that killed 14 people was only the beginning. Several massive fires have broken out following the incident. In December 2017, in Saki Naka area of Mumbai, a massive blaze engulfed a snack shop, killing 20 people. The accident took place in Khairani Road’s Makaria Compound.
On January 4 this year, a fire at Maimoon Building in Mumbai’s Marol killed four people and injured five others. Faulty electric wiring caused a huge fire at Cine Vista film studio in Kanjurmarg, killing a technician. Although no casualties were reported in the January 8 Sessions Court fire, the fire was a terrible one and had to be brought doused with as many as five fire engines.
Coming to combating fire incidents, this year was catastrophic for the city. It is important that strict measures are taken to prevent fire breakouts from happening. While the reasons for the hospital fire remains unknown, The Logical Indian urges the authorities to investigate the matter.