The hospital, the Chief Minister said, had been set up to deal with the wave of Covid infections that have swept the city, and its permit was due to expire March 31
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has sought forgiveness from the families of those who died after a fire broke out shortly after midnight at a coronavirus hospital in Mumbai, and said that they will get compensation of Rs 5 lakh each. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Bangladesh on a two-day visit, said he was “pained by the loss of lives”.
Ten bodies have been recovered so far, officials have said, and around 70 patients, who were being treated for the virus – have been moved to safety from the Dreams Mall Sunrise Hospital – which was located on the fourth floor of a shopping mall in Mumbai’s Bhandup neighbourhood.
“The firefighters did a great job in rescuing people. However… some people who were on ventilators could not be rescued. I seek forgiveness from their families,” Mr Thackeray told reporters Friday afternoon after visiting the scene of the disaster.
“Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a hospital in Mumbai. I pray that the injured recover soon,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
Pained by the loss of lives due to a fire at a hospital in Mumbai. I pray that the injured recover soon: PM @narendramodi
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 26, 2021
The hospital, the Chief Minister said, had been set up to deal with the wave of Covid infections that have swept the city; at the peak of the first wave last year Mumbai was the worst-affected metro city in the country, with hospital beds and life-saving medical equipment in short supply.
Mr Thackeray said preliminary reports suggested the fire originated at a shop in the mall and not in the hospital itself: “I want to assure you that whoever is at fault… they will be punished.”
“We have been fighting against the coronavirus for the past year. When the pandemic hit the state, there were very few beds and ventilators, but we continued our fight and set up temporary hospitals. This hospital was temporarily allowed to treat coronavirus patients,” he explained.
The hospital’s permit would have expired on March 31, the Chief Minister said.
Earlier today Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar told news agency ANI: “This is the first time I have seen a hospital in a mall. This is a very serious situation. Seven patients were on ventilators. 70 have been taken to another hospital. There will be an investigation to confirm the cause.”
According to news agency PTI, in November last year the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had issued a notice to this mall – for allegedly flouting fire safety norms.
The fire was reported at around 12.30 am and 22 fire-engines were dispatched to fight the blaze.
In in its initial statement the hospital said “there is no casualty due to fire”. Shortly after, however, the hospital said some patients were “missing” and efforts were on to trace and identify them.
With input from ANI, PTI