At least 74 people were evacuated after a massive fire broke out in a private Covid-19 hospital in Mumbai.
While the hospital, in a statement, said "there was no casualty due to fire", officials had earlier told reporters that two bodies were found. The hospital, however later clarified that “there were two dead bodies (due to Covid) which were evacuated” and “there was no casualty due to fire”.
Twenty-two fire engines were rushed to Dreams Mall Sunrise Hospital yesterday night when fire broke out at around 12.30 am. More than 70 Covid patients were admitted to the hospital at the time of the incident. Officials have not yet established the cause of the fire.
In a statement, Sunrise Hospital said: "There was a fire in first floor of Dreams Mall, Bhandup, and the smoke reached up to 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 .There were two dead bodies (due to Covid), which were also evacuated. There was no casualty due to fire. (sic)"
The statement added, "All patients were promptly shifted to Jumbo Covid Centre (and some to other private hospitals). We are grateful to Mumbai fire brigade and to Mumbai Police for helping us save lives. 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 license, nursing home licence. The hospital staff did a fantastic job in safely evacuating patients on wheel chairs and beds to the refuge areas and by following the fire drills."
The fire comes in the wake of a surge of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai. 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.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar who visited the site expressed his surprise at a hospital operating inside a mall. "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."