The toll in the fire in a Mumbai hospital rose to eight on Tuesday, with the death of two more people in the morning. “Altogether 176 persons, including three firemen, are now being treated in city hospitals,” an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Disaster Management Unit said, according to The Indian Express. “Among those admitted, over 25 are critical while 26 have been discharged after primary treatment.”
Rescue personnel saved 147 people on Monday from ESIC Kamgar Hospital in Andheri, and several patients were shifted to Cooper Hospital in Andheri West, P Thakrey Hospital, Jogeshwari trauma hospital, Holy Spirit Hospital and Seven Hills Hospital in Andheri East.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday ordered an inquiry into the fire and promised the victims all possible assistance, ANI reported.
Mumbai Mayor V Mahadeshwar had said on Monday that the cause of the fire was not yet known. But The Times of India said it was likely that a short circuit in a window AC unit on the ground floor of the facility had caused it. An unidentified official of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation said the hospital had not received a no-objection certificate from the fire authorities, due to inadequate infrastructure and safety arrangements. “In fact, 15 days ago, we went to the hospital on an inspection and served it a notice,” the officer added.
MIDC Deputy Chief Fire Officer VM Ogale said: “Construction work has been underway on the hospital premises for a new wing since 2009. We had provided a provisional no-objection certificate, but not a final one. The building does not even have an occupation certificate.”
But Sarika Kakkad, the hospital’s assistant director, claimed the structure had an occupation certificate as well as a no-objection certificate. “The portion without the final no-objection certificate is not being used,” she added.
Staff working at the ESIC Kamgar Hospital protested in Mumbai on Tuesday morning, alleging that facilities at the clinic were inadequate, ANI reported.
Meanwhile, Union Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh each for the next of the kin of those who died in the blaze, PTI reported, citing a labour ministry statement. Those who are seriously wounded will be paid Rs 2 lakh, and Rs 1 lakh will be provided to those with minor injuries.
The labour ministry said that according to a preliminary report, construction material kept at the ground floor of the hospital caught fire.