A massive fire broke out on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday at a mall in Mumbai’s Bhandup area, which also accommodates a COVID-19 hospital on its top floor. The fire has engulfed 10 people so far, while scores have been evacuated, in a rescue operation, which continues thus far. A total of 14 fire engines and 10 jumbo water tankers are sent to the site to douse the massive fire. As many as 76 COVID-19 patients were admitted to the hospital, which is located on the third floor of a mall.
Until Friday early morning, two casualties were reported. The BirhanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) reported that two people had died in the fire. The Sunrise hospital, however, refuted the claim saying that those two deaths were not linked to the fire incident. There were two dead bodies (due to Covid) that were also evacuated. There was no casualty due to fire,” the hospital said in a statement on Friday morning.
It also said that the fire broke out on the first floor of the mall. “The smoke reached the hospital located at the top floor. All fire alarms beeped and hence all patients were safely evacuated due to the smoke to the fire refuge area,” the statement said.
Dream Mall Bhandup Fire Sunrise Hospital statement of only 2 dead due to #COVID19 & Not Due to Fire, is BIG LIE. I fear there could be 9 human casualty I asked Bhandup Police to register Criminal Complaint & arrest Sunrise Hospital Owner @BJP4Maharashtra @BJP4India @Dev_Fadnavis pic.twitter.com/38LxIaWouy— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) March 26, 2021
“This 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 compliances 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,” the statement further said.
Contrary to what the hospital said in its statement, BJP leader Kirit Somaniya alleged that Sunrise Hospital had been operating illegally without attaining an occupancy certificate (OC). He alleged that BMC had issued an illegal conditional OC to the hospital during COVID. No safety/fire system was in place, Tweeted the BJP leader.
Fire at Dream Mall Bhandup. #COVID19 hospital on top floor. 3 COVID ICU Patients Died 6 Serious. Hospital & Mall constructed by HDIL from PMC Bank Money. Hospital didn’t have OC. BMC gave illegal Conditional OC during COVID. No safety/fire system. In morning I visited the place— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) March 26, 2021
Kirit Somaiya said he has asked Bhandup Police to register a criminal complaint against the Sunrise Hospital owner and arrest him as soon as possible.
CNN News 18 has also accessed documents which show that Dreams Mall, Bhandup flouted fire safety norms. There were no fire safety norms at the mall. Earlier, BMC had carried out an assessment on Mumbai malls regarding the fire safety norms and Dream Mall was amongst the 29 malls which were declared unsafe as it did not comply with the fire safety norms, reports CNN News 18.
#EXCLUSIVE | CNN-News18 accesses documents which show that Dreams Mall, Bhandup flouted fire safety norms.— News18 (@CNNnews18) March 26, 2021
A fire broke out in the mall on intervening night of Thursday and Friday. Till now 10 people have been declared dead. @Herman_Gomes shares details with @Arunima24 pic.twitter.com/csRtHBzmDX
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Prashant Kadam, around 22 fire tenders reached the hospital to douse the flames. As many as 76 COVID-19 patients were admitted to the hospital, which is located on the third floor of a mall.
Speaking about the incident earlier today, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said, “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 patients have been taken to another hospital. There will be an investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire.”