The death count in the Mumbai hospital fire incident climbed to eight by Tuesday morning and a six-month-old baby was one of the victims, the police said. Over 145 persons, mostly patients and visitors, were rescued. Six were killed on Monday, and two died on Tuesday morning, news agency ANI reported.
A massive fire swept through state-run Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Kamgar Hospital at Marol in Andheri East around 4 pm on Monday. As many as 10 fire engines took more than three hours to contain the fire. Patients were shifted to Cooper Hospital, Holy Spirit Hospital, P Thackeray Trauma Hospital, Hiranandani Hospital, Siddharth Hospital and Seven Hills hospital. Apart from fire engines, five jumbo tankers, two quick rescue vehicles, three special appliances, one rescue van and 16 ambulances are also put in service to control the situation.
According to eyewitnesses, one of the hospital gates were blocked because of some construction work and therefore there was only one exit gate. The glass façade of the building and limited ventilation also posed trouble to firefighters.
Mumbai Mayor V Mahadeshwar said, "The cause of the fire is not known yet. Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is responsible for the fire audits, whether they carried out fire audits or not, that will be investigated,” as quoted by news agency ANI.
#Mumbai Mayor, V Mahadeshwar on ESIC Kamgar Hospital Fire: The cause of the fire is not known yet. Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is responsible for the fire audits, whether they carried out fire audits or not, that will be investigated. pic.twitter.com/SM0nVmY82G— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
However, a few reports suggested that the fire may have been caused because of a short circuit in a window AC unit on the ground floor of the five-storey building. The hospital also reportedly did not have an OC or a fire NOC (no-objection certificate) because of infrastructural issues as well as lack of adequate safety provisions, an MIDC fire officer told the Times of India.