At least 10 people died after a massive fire broke out at Dreams Mall in Mumbai’s Bhandup on Thursday night. Three bodies are yet to be identified, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
The mall houses a COVID-19 hospital on the top floor where 76 patients were admitted. Out of them, 73 were availing treatment for COVID-19. All of them have been shifted to nearby hospitals.
The fire broke out on the first floor of the mall and eventually engulfed the hospital. Initially, there were reports of only two deaths, but later the toll went up to 10. Over 23 fire tenders and several ambulances were deployed in the rescue operations. The firefighters continued their efforts to douse the blaze till Friday morning.
What BMC mayor said
Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar said, “The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. I’ve seen a hospital at the mall for the first time. Action will be taken. 70 patients, including COVID-infected ones, have been shifted to another hospital.”
“I have seen a hospital at a mall for the first time,” the mayor said, adding action will be taken if irregularities were found in allowing the facility to operate there. The hospital, on its part, said that it is functioning with all due compliances like fire licence, nursing and home licence.
A civic official said the BMC had issued notice to the mall in November last year for allegedly flouting fire safety norms.
What the hospital said
The Sunrise Hospital in a statement said, “There was a fire on the first floor of Dreams Mall, Bhandup and the smoke reached the Sunrise 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,” said the hospital in its statement.
It further said, “There were 2 dead bodies (due to COVID) which were also evacuated. There was no casualty due to fire. All patients were promptly shifted to the jumbo COVID centre (and some to other private hospitals).”
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