Among the eight victims who died after falling prey to the fire that engulfed the ESIC Kamgar Hospital in Mumbai on Monday was a two-month-old baby girl. The yet to be named infant who passed away in the same hospital she was born in was a victim of cruel fate. She was not an inmate of the ESIC Kamgar hospital but was visiting her mother for a feed.
Her father Rajesh, stricken by the worst loss a parent could know, wrapped his two-month-old daughter in a red and blue doormat at the Dr R N Cooper Hospital in suburban Mumbai where autopsies have been underway. Rajesh said that he could not find anything else to cover his daughter’s body with! He is employed as a cook with a caterer.
His wife Rukhmani Yadav was awaiting a gallbladder surgery and was admitted to the ill-fated hospital which caught fire on Monday and claimed eight lives on December 14. Since her newborn child could not be admitted alongside her, the infant’s aunt, Dimple Yadav, brought her to the hospital two to three times a day for breastfeeding.
On Monday, Dimple brought the baby to her mother but got engulfed by the fire that broke out on the fourth floor. The baby and Dimple were asleep on the floor near Rukhmani and both women passed out due to the smoke.
At least 150 people have been reported injured in the incident and there have been reports that the hospital did not have the necessary fire equipment to deal with such a situation. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday ordered a probe into the fire at the ESIC Kamgar Hospital in suburban Mumbai in which eight people were killed.
The Chief Minister’s Office said Fadnavis spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Health Minister J P Nadda in connection with the mishap.
The CMO said in a tweet that Fadnavis has ordered an enquiry into the fire incident at the ESIC Hospital. It also added that the chief minister expressed grief over the loss of lives and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured and assured that all required assistance will be given.
The hospital has come under fire over a series of lapses on their part. As per primary findings, the hospital neither had any well-maintained fire extinguishers nor was the hospital staff trained to use them. Sprinklers were not placed strategically, and most were in passages, which was against fire-safety norms. Proper compartmentalisation of rooms, to restrict transmission of smoke and fire, was also found lacking. Fire curtains, which restrict smoke from spreading from room to room, were also not placed properly.