Thane: Four patients died after a fire broke out at a private hospital in Shimla Park, Mumbra in the early hours of Wednesday. Around 20 patients were rescued and evacuated to nearby hospitals. Official sources alleged the hospital was operating from a residential building and was without a fire audit.
According to the regional disaster management the fire broke out at 3:40 am at Prime Criticare Hospital on the first floor of Hasan Tower, located at Shimla Park on old Mumbai-pune road, Kausa, Mumbra.
According to the authorities a team of the fire brigade, regional disaster management cell, Mumbra police along with locals carried out the rescue operation. There were 5 Ambulances, Torrent officials, 3 Fire engines, 2 water tankers and 1 Rescue vehicle involved in the operation.
The dead patients include Yasmeen Zafar Sayyed (46), Nawab Majid Shaikh (47), Halima Salmani (70) and Harish Sonawane (57).
Advocate Farhan Ansari, who resides at Zahur Chawl behind the hospital said, "It was around 3:30 am, I was standing at our first floor window. It was the time for sehri, so I was waiting for it. I saw smoke and heard the screams of women. I rushed down and ran towards the back side of the hospital. We found the back window closed and covered with a grill. We took a rod and curved the grills and broke the glasses and rescued the patients," added Ansari.
Another local, Moshin Khan, who was part of the rescue operation said, "The patients who were in the front side were rescued. The patient in the Intensive Care Unit was stuck as it was on the backside. The room was completely covered with smoke. As soon as we broke the glass from the back the smoke bellowed out. Patients who were already on ventilator had suffocated. Had there been any further delay in rescuing them it would have resulted in more deaths."
Khan was accompanied by Navid Shaikh, Alkama Khan, Affan Dole and Sarfaraz Darbari among others in the rescue operation.
Santosh Kadam, regional disaster management cell of Thane Municipal Corporation said, "All the 20 patients including six from ICU were rescued successfully. The four patients succumbed after they were shifted to another private hospital."
Girish Zalke, Chief fire Officer, Thane Municipal Corporation said, "The fire started from the meter box of the hospital and later spread on the upper side. We have sent notice to the hospital for fire audit, but received no response. The hospital doesn't have a fire audit."
Madhukar Kad, senior police inspector, Mumbra police station said, "We have asked for a report from the fire brigade and corporation. To know the exact reason behind the fire. We will be take action accordingly."
Housing Minister, Jitendra Awhad the MLA of Mumbra-Kalwa constituency too visited the spot. He said the reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained. "A committee will be formed to investigate the reason behind the fire. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister had announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the dead," said Awhad.
Guardian Minister, Eknath Shinde along with Dr Vipin Sharma, Municipal Commissioner, Thane Municipal Corporation visited the site. "The fire started at the meter box further resulting in smoke in the hospital. The patients were suffocated inside, but were rescued. They were reported dead after they were shifted to another hospital. The patients were shifted to Bilal and Kalsekar hospital. We have asked for a structural, as well as fire audit of the hospital and we will take action against the negligence that killed four people. We will have word with the TMC and see that the dead are compensated with Rs 5 lakh," said Shinde.
Locals who reached the spot before the officials started the rescue operation.