A level three or level four fire broke out on the first floor of Mumbai’s HDIL Dheeraj Dreams Mall in Bhandup on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday at around 12:30am and soon escalated to Sunrise Hospital on the top floor. At Least 10 people have died with the cause of the fire not yet ascertained. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited the site.
“It was around 11:45-12:00 at night. Me and my friends were having online meet regarding some internship work when I noticed a burning smell. Looking outside the window, I saw smoke that was generally spread out so we couldn’t figure out where exactly it was coming from. I thought it was coming from some distant place when we read on the building’s WhatsApp group that a fire had broken out in dreams mall,” narrated a Dreams complex resident. A Kanjurmarg West resident had spotted fire trucks heading towards Bhandup at the time and informed a member of the press.
The hospital administration said, “The hospital was started in exceptional circumstances of covid-19 and it was functioning with all due compliances like fire license nursing home licence etc.” At least 78 patients were trapped inside the hospital among which, most were Covid patients with many on ventilator support. The Hospital said that the patients were quickly and safely evacuated on wheelchairs and beds and were shifted to other hospitals and Covid-19 facilities across Mumbai. The hospital stated that there were zero casualties due to the fire and the 2 dead bodies were of Covid patients who had already deceased due to the virus.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray visited the Hospital to investigate and enquire about the incident. He also announced aid of Rs 5 lakh each for the heirs of the deceased in the fire. Talking to the media he said, “At some places, we had given permission for temporary hospitals due to the COVID-19 situation last year and the hospital in Dreams Mall was one of them. The temporary permission was to end on March 31. The matter will be investigated.” Adding to it, he also said that the firefighters did a great job in saving people, however, some people who were on ventilators could not be saved and strict action will be taken against all those responsible for negligence and delay in this regard.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited the site in the early hours of Friday to look into the matter and was shocked to find out a hospital running inside a mall. “I have seen a hospital at a mall for the first time” she said while talking to the media. Adding to it, she said that action will be taken if any irregularities are found in the operating of the facility after the investigation.
Dr Moharkar, MOH informed that out of the total 78 patients, 46 were traced out so far and are currently at the following locations:
· Jumbo Covid Hospital, Mulund – 30 Patients
· Fortis Hospital, Bhandup – 4 Patients
· Viraj Hospital, Thane – 2 Patients
· BKC Phase 1- 1 Patient
· Godrej Hospital, Ghatkopar – 1 Patient
· Sarathi Hospital, Tank Road-1 Patient
· Agarwal Hospital- 5 Patients
· Home -2 Patients
Seven out of the ten deceased who were identified are:
· Nisar Javedchand – Male (74 years)
· Munzekar – Male (66 years)
· Govindlal Das – Male (80 years)
· Manjula Batharia – Female (65 years)
· Ambaji Narayan Patil – Male (65 years)
· Sunanda Bai Ambaji Patil – Female (58 years)
· Sudhir Sakharam Lad – Male (66 years)
Three unknown bodies have also been found, whose identity has not been confirmed yet. BJP leader, Kirit Somaiya said that he would file a complaint of criminal negligence against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in connection with the fire at a hospital in a city mall, in which two COVID-19 patients died and 70 others were evacuated. He also accused the Hospital Administration of the Sunrise hospital of lying about the statement that the 2 deaths were due to Covid and not the fire.
Further, he also accused BMC of giving illegal Conditional OC during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) also questioned how a COVID-19 centre was given permission to operate in a mall.