Mumbai Covid centre fire toll touches 11, 60 patients rescued (Roundup)


The death toll in the massive blaze which ravaged the Dreams Mall in Bhandup that houses a Covid centre — Sunrise Hospital — touched 11 while 60 patients have been rescued, officials said on Friday.

The 11 deceased were all senior citizens undergoing Covid-19 treatment at the hospital, and efforts are onto trace some others feared missing.

According to the BMC Disaster Control, the fire was noticed around midnight on the first floor and it quicky spread to the two upper floors of the three-storied mall, which houses the Covid-19 hospital on the top floor.

The Mumbai Fire Brigade with 10 fire tenders and disaster management teams rushed to combat the blaze and to rescue and transfer the Covid patients to other hospitals in the vicinity.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh, Mayor Kishori Pednekar, Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale, Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani, and other top officials from fire brigade, police and civic bodies rushed to spot after the tragic news broke out.

The victims have been identified as Nisar Javedchand, 74, Govind Das, 80, Manjula Batharia, 65, Ambaji Patil 65 and his wife Sunanda Patil 58, Sudhir Lad, 66, Harish Sachdev, 68, Shyam Bhaktilal, 77, Mahadeo Ayyar, 79, and Ashok Waghmare, 68, said a BMC official.

Thackeray has announced a compensation of Rs 500,000 to the kin of each of the deceased patient while Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed grief over the tragic incident.

Former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya alleged that the Sunrise Hospital and Dreams Mall were constructed by scam-hit HDIL from the PMC Bank’s monies and were allegedly given a conditional occupation certificate by the BMC.

Refuting the charges, the operations head of Sunrise Hospital, Satyendra Tiwari, said that the recently-started hospital had all the licences/permissions in place and the fire broke out in the mall below and not in the third floor of the hospital premises.

While the BMC has ordered a probe into the incident, CoP Nagrale warned that anybody found guilty would face stringent action.

Meanwhile, all the rescued patients were shifted to the Covid field hospital in Mulund, Fortis Hospital and other hospitals in the vicinity, as the flames were finally brought under control after over 20 hours on Friday night.