Baby among eight dead in Mumbai hospital fire

18 December 2018 - 11:51 By AFP
A firefighter breaks a glass window of a government hospital after it caught a fire, in the suburbs of Mumbai, India December 17, 2018.
A firefighter breaks a glass window of a government hospital after it caught a fire, in the suburbs of Mumbai, India December 17, 2018.
Image: REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

A three-month-old baby was among eight people killed in a fire at a Mumbai hospital, officials said Tuesday, in the latest disaster to highlight lax safety standards in India.

The blaze broke out around 4:00 pm (1030 GMT) on Monday on the fourth floor of a government-run hospital in the northern suburb of Andheri.

The death toll rose from six to eight Tuesday, a spokesman for the city's disaster management cell told AFP.

Another 140 people, including patients, doctors and nurses were rescued and were being treated at hospitals across the city, he said.

The cause of the blaze at the ESIC Kamgar hospital is not yet known but a fire official told AFP that the hospital had not sought a proper safety inspection.

"It is a 1970s building and no fire safety audit had been carried out," said M.D. Ogle, deputy chief fire officer at the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, a state government agency.

"It is up to the occupier to seek an inspection."

Accidental fires are common across India because of poor safety standards and lax enforcement of regulations. They are particularly common in densely populated Mumbai, India's financial capital.

In December last year, at least 14 people were killed when a huge blaze tore through a popular restaurant in the city.

Earlier that month, a fire swept through a Mumbai sweet shop, sparking a building collapse which killed 12 sleeping workers. 

X