Virar Hospital Fire: Death toll climbs to 15; directors, staffers booked for culpable homicide

As the death toll in the fire broke out at the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Virar climbed to 15, the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police commissionerate booked the directors, staffers and management of the hospital for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and other offences.

Based on a complaint registered by assistant municipal commissioner-Angai Jaisinghrao Salunkhe, a case was registered under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 and 338 (both dealing with rash or negligent act endangering human life) of the IPC at the Arnala costal police station in Virar on Friday evening. The case will be investigated by a team led by Police Inspector- Pramod Badhak under the supervision of DCP ( Crime)- Dr. Mahesh Patil. The team will probe whether the fire safety measures were being followed in the hospital.

The fire was reported from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) located on the second floor of the four-storey Vijay Vallabh Hospital in the Tirupati Nagar area of Bolinj in Virar (west) at around 3:15 am on Friday. While 17 critically ill patients were undergoing treatment for Covid-19 in the ICU, around 85 others were admitted to general wards. Firefighters from the Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) immediately reached the spot with three fire engines and managed to extinguish the blaze.

After a two hour firefighting operation which lasted till 5:20 am. Preliminary investigations indicated that a short-circuit in the central air-conditioning unit had triggered the blast leading to a massive blaze. 13 patients were charred to death on the spot while two others succumbed while undergoing treatment.

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