A day after the horrific fire in Bhandup West's Sunrise Hospital, BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has sought a report within 15 days. It took around 20 hours to douse the blaze, and officials say that nine people on ventilators had suffocated to death, while two others are believed to have passed away due to COVID-19. 10 of them were senior citizens.
"A major fire broke out at Bhandup Dream Malls and a private COVID-19 hospital situated in the said mall on March 25. It is learnt that nine patients expired due to smoke spread in to the hospital located at the third flood of the mall, which is a dedicated COVID-19 hospital. You are hereby directed to conduct the enquiry within 15 days in the said matter," the letter begins.
The hospital was on the third floor of the Dreams mall, a ground plus three structure, with shops and eateries below it. In light of the pandemic, it had been given permission to operate last year. It had one OPD unit along with a special section for COVID-19 patients equipped with oxygen beds and ventilators.
Chahal's missive sets out various details that must be covered in the report - from the cause of the fire to determining that all requisite licences and other formalities had been undertaken. The report will also look for any lacuna in fire compliances and the fire extinguishing efforts.
Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh had earlier confirmed fire lapses at the COVID-19 centre and Dreams Mall, and further said that actions will be taken against those who are responsible.