Fire at the ESIC Kamgar Hospital in Mumbai. (Source: ANI)

Mumbai Hospital Fire Kills Six, Injures Over 140

Six persons were killed and 141 patients and visitors suffered injuries in a fire at a government-run hospital in Mumbai this evening, officials said.

As many as 147 people, including patients, were trapped inside when the fire broke out at ESIC Kamgar Hospital at Marol in suburban Andheri, said the official of the Disaster Management Cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

"They were subsequently rescued from different floors by firemen using ladders," he said. He added that the building was a ground plus five-floor structure and the blaze had erupted on the fourth floor.

The official said 19 were taken to civic-run Cooper Hospital where two were declared brought dead. Another 33 were shifted to Seven Hills Hospital in Andheri where three were declared dead, he said.

He further said that 40 were taken to Holy Spirit Hospital, Andheri, where one of them was declared brought dead, the official said. Some of the injured were discharged, while the others were undergoing treatment in different hospitals with some of them in the ICU, he said.

A fire brigade official said the blaze at the hospital was reported at 4:03 p.m. and it was extinguished at 7:35 p.m. "The building is a ground plus five-floor structure and the blaze erupted on the fourth floor," the official said.

The deceased are yet to be identified, he said, adding the cause of the fire was not yet known. Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar said it was under investigation.

"At present, our priority is to ensure patients sent to hospitals get proper treatment," the mayor said. Recalling the horror, a patient, Santosh Kadam, said, "I was on the fourth floor and was going to the ground floor to get my MRI done. Suddenly, nurses and other staffers started shouting and told us to vacate the building since a fire had broken out. I along with my other relatives came down safely."

Milind Ogle, the deputy chief fire officer of the MIDC area, told PTI, "Our team had found some lacunae in an under-construction building coming up adjacent to the hospital and suggested their rectification." "The hospital administration was in the process of complying with our suggestions. Meanwhile, this incident took place in the old hospital building," Ogle said.

The 325-bed hospital was constructed in 1970s, the officials said, adding police and hospital authorities have vacated the building till further notice. Fire brigade personnel had to break the glasses of the building's facade to evacuate stranded patients, they said. Additional Commissioner of Police Manoj Sharma said an inquiry will be launched in association with the fire brigade department to ascertain the cause of the fire.

Another patient Girish Patel said, "I saw smoke emanating from the third and fourth floors. There was thick layer of smoke. People panicked and started running helter-skelter before hospital staff came and advised us to vacate the floor quietly." According to another civic official, over 160 patients were admitted in the hospital at the time of the blaze.”

Chief of Fire Brigade department of the BMC PS Rahangdale said smoke engulfed the entire building and fire brigade personnel were searching all floors to see if any patient or visitor was still trapped.