NEWS
18/12/2018 12:56 PM IST

Mumbai Fire: Hospital Did Not Have Fire Compliance Certificate, Says Official

Eight people, including a six-month-old girl, were killed in the fire at ESIC hospital in Andheri east.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MUMBAI - The hospital, where a massive fire killed eight people on Monday evening, did not have a no-objection certificate for fire compliance, a fire official told PTI.

The ESIC (Employees State Insurance Scheme) Kamgar Hospital at Marol, Andheri east, was denied a final NOC while being reviewed for fire compliance norms, Milind Ogle, the deputy chief fire officer of the MIDC area said.

“The hospital applied for the final NOC a fortnight ago for its under-construction building adjacent to the old structure that caught fire,” he said.

“When our team visited the hospital to inspect the conditions for fire compliance, it found certain shortcomings in the installations and it was communicated to the hospital administration,” Ogle said.

While reviewing fire compliance norms for the new building, the team also noticed some lacunae in the old hospital building, he said. “So we refused to issue the full and final fire NOC to the old building also,” he added.

The death toll in the blaze rose to eight on Tuesday. The deceased include a six-month-old girl. While six people had died in the blaze on Monday, two more succumbed to their injuries later in different hospitals, the official said.

The 325-bed ESIC Hospital was constructed in 1970s. Police and hospital authorities have vacated the building, an official told PTI.

Nearly 375 people, including patients and visitors, were in the five-floor hospital during visiting hours when fire and smoke were reported on its fourth floor around 4.03 pm on Monday, according to a fire brigade official.

“The fire was extinguished at 7.35 pm, and hospital authorities shut down the facility till further notice,” he said.

“Most of the deceased, including the six-month-old child, died due to suffocation,” he said.

Several women who recently delivered babies managed to save their newborns by rushing out of the building while wrapping the children in their arms, he said.

The building’s glass facade posed a hindrance as it blocked air passage and firemen had to break the glasses on all the floors to evacuate those stranded inside, he said.

Hospital medical superintendent Dr Rakesh Sharma said everything happened suddenly. A hospital staffer received injuries on his arm when he jumped out of the building to save his life, he added.

(With inputs from PTI)