Mumbai: Fire at Covid-19 hospital claims 8 lives, over 70 evacuated

Mumbai: Fire at Covid-19

Mumbai Covid-19 care hospital fire: Sunrise Hospital CEO Dr. Hafeez Rehman said some patients were missing following the incident, and efforts were underway to identify and find them.

At least eight patients being treated for Covid-19 at Sunrise Hospital in Mumbai’s Bhandup West died in a fire just after midnight on Friday, while over 70 others were evacuated. The bodies of two others, who died of Covid-19, were also recovered.

Sunrise Hospital CEO Dr Hafeez Rehman said some patients were missing following the incident, and efforts were underway to identify and find them. He also added that the families of the deceased who died of Covid-19 had been informed of their deaths prior to the fire.

Following the incident, 30 patients were shifted to Mulund Jumbo centre, a Covid-19 treatment facility, where four are in serious condition — two patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and two are on oxygen support. The other patients were admitted to different hospitals, while non-Covid patients were shifted to Fortis Hospital.

The fire, which was classified as ‘Level 4’, broke out on the first floor of Dreams Mall, a three-storey building, at around 12.30 am. Sunrise Hospital is located on the third floor. Operations are underway to bring the fire under control.

The hospital said its fire alarms were set off by the smoke, following which all patients were evacuated from the building to a fire refuge area.

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The fire has been classified as ‘Level 4’ (Express Photo: Deepak Joshi)
In a statement, Sunrise Hospital said the hospital was started in “exceptional circumstances of Covid last year”, and has helped in saving many patients from Covid deaths. “It is functioning with all due compliance like fire licence, nursing home licence etc. The hospital staff did a fantastic job in safely evacuating patients on wheelchairs and beds to the refuge areas and by following the fire drills,” it added.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said. After visiting the incident site, she added that a detailed probe would be carried out to ascertain the cause of the incident.

“This is a very serious situation. First time I have seen a hospital in a mall. The civic body will conduct an investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire and action will be taken accordingly,” Pednekar said.

In pictures |Mumbai Covid-19 hospital fire
As many as 14 fire engines and 10 jumbo water tankers were pressed into action after the fire was reported.

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The fire broke out on the first floor of Dreams Mall (Express Photo: Deepak Joshi)
The fire comes in the wake of a surge of Covid-19 cases in the city. Mumbai reported 5,504 cases on Thursday and 14 deaths, taking the total number of positive cases in the city to 3,80,146 and toll to 11,623. Due to the rising cases, BMC has planned to increase the bed capacity in hospitals from the current 13,773 to 21,000 in the next 15 days besides scaling up testing.

Maharashtra reported 35,952 cases on the same day and 111 deaths. The state’s caseload is 26 lakh, and the toll is 53,795.