Mumbai dreams mall fire: Families of deceased in shock

Published on Mar 27, 2021 12:37 AM IST
A fire broke out on the first floor of Dreams Mall in Bhandup on Thursday night and spread to upper floors, killing nine patients in Sunrise Hospital which is housed on the third floor, Hindustan Times spoke to families of some of the deceased.
Fire fighters carry out rescue operations at Sunrise Hospital after a major fire broke out at Dreams Mall in Bhandup, on Friday. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Fire fighters carry out rescue operations at Sunrise Hospital after a major fire broke out at Dreams Mall in Bhandup, on Friday. (Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
ByRupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai

A fire broke out on the first floor of Dreams Mall in Bhandup on Thursday night and spread to upper floors, killing nine patients in Sunrise Hospital which is housed on the third floor, Hindustan Times spoke to families of some of the deceased.

Won battle against Covid-19, but lost life in fire

Govind Lal Das, 70, was admitted at Sunrise Hospital for Covid-19 treatment on March 22. Within three days, he tested negative and was supposed to be released soon. However, even after winning the battle against Covid-19, he was not able to return home.

His daughter, Archana, who met Das on Thursday night, alleged that while she was at the hospital between 6pm and 10pm, the fire alarm rang several times due to an apparent short circuit. But despite making repeated requests to check on it, hospital staffers did not pay any heed.

“I would hear the fire alarm was ringing but the staffers said not to worry. I did not know that this would be the cause of the death of my father who was waiting to get discharged,” she said.

After returning home, she had a video call with her father around 11pm. After a few hours, she was informed about the fire outbreak at the hospital and she immediately went to the hospital.

“There was so much chaos...there was fire and smoke all around. No one knew where my father was. At the middle of the night, we rushed from one hospital to another, clueless. Then finally, we got to know that he was admitted at Agrawal Hospital,” she said.

But after reaching there, she learnt that her father had succumbed.

“We wanted to take him home, but a few of his medical parameters were still unstable. So, the doctors suggested we keep him at the hospital. If only I had taken him home, he would have been alive today,” she added.

Transferred from jumbo Covid centre, man dies in fire

Shyam Bhaktani, 77, was admitted at Mulund jumbo centre on Monday after he tested positive for the virus. But considering he had cardiac ailments, he was referred to a private hospital as he needed treatment under a cardiologist. After hunting for a day, Bhaktani family found a bed at Sunrise Hospital on Thursday, but now they regret the decision. Within a few hours of admission, Bhaktani breathed his last on Friday morning due to the fire accident.

“We got him discharged from Mulund jumbo centre and admitted him at Sunrise Hospital on Thursday afternoon. It took us almost 24 hours to find a bed in a hospital that had the facility to take care of cardiac patients with Covid-19. Finally, we left the hospital around 10.30pm,” said a family member.

It was around past midnight when they got calls and found out about the fire. “We immediately started calling the hospital but no one responded. We were panicking. When we reached the hospital, we couldn’t track him,” said the relative.

They ran from one hospital to another and finally identified his body in Agrawal Hospital.

“Only if the jumbo facility had a cardiologist to look after him, we wouldn’t have to admit him at the hospital. We don’t know if he died because of the suffocation or on the way when he was being shifted to another hospital,” added the member.

Found body after 10 hours

After enquiring for 10 hours at different hospitals, family members of Ashok Waghmare finally found his body at a hospital morgue.

Waghmare was admitted at BYL Nair Hospital earlier this week after he tested positive for Covid-19. The family alleged they were not satisfied with the treatment and care at the hospital. His son-in-law Pratik said, “Bedsheets were soiled, he wasn’t given food for 24 hours at the hospital. In fact, nurses did not pay any attention. No one would even provide water to the patients. So, we decided to shift him to a private hospital for better care.”

On Thursday afternoon, the family found a vacant bed at Sunrise Hospital and admitted him there.

It was around 6am in the morning when his daughter Priya got to know about the fire. They went to hospital but could not find Waghmare.

“We didn’t know who was taken where. So, we went to Mulund jumbo centre, Rajawadi Hospital and the BKC centre but couldn’t find him. We reached Agrawal Hospital around 4pm when a hospital staff informed us about an unidentified body. Upon checking, we saw it was him,” he said.

Waghmare’s body was taken to Rajawadi Hospital for post-mortem.

Patient’s body found at hospital terrace

Harish Sachdev, 60, was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Thursday and was admitted at Sunrise Hospital as his family members wanted to keep him near their house in Bhandup. But his sudden death within 24 hours of admission has left his family traumatised.

Around midnight, they heard about the fire and rushed to the hospital. When they enquired about Sachdev, they were told by firefighters that patients were being taken to four to five hospitals.

“We rushed to Fortis Hospital, Mulund jumbo centre and Agrawal Hospital. But his name wasn’t there in any list,” said his wife Pooja.

Finally in the afternoon, they were informed that a body, with features similar to Sachdev, was found at the terrace of the hospital. “I don’t know how this happened. We want the culprit to be punished,” said Pooja.

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