Thane hospital fire: Local youths save 9 patients
A group of 10-12 men, up early on Wednesday for Ramzan Sehri, helped rescue patients from Prime Criticare Hospital, where a fire broke out, killing four patients. The toll would have been higher if not for these good Samaritans, all in their 20s, breaking open the grilles and glass of the windows at the back of the hospital to rescue at least nine patients.
They also carried 30 unused oxygen cylinders away from the site, so as to avert any explosion.
The men live in three chawls — Dongre, Parkar and Jahur —surrounding the hospital in Rashid Compound.
Farhan Ansari, 29, an advocate, said, “I was up for Sehri, when around 3.45am I heard few women shouting. I opened the window and saw flames rising from the building. I thought some house is on fire and alerted few others in my chawl and we rushed to the spot without a second thought. When we reached, the entire hospital was engulfed in fire, the entrance was in flames and the patients could not escape.”
The group decided to go to the back of the hospital.
He added, “There was a window with grilles at the back of the hospital. We saw patients crying for help from this window. We decided to try and break open the window, which was difficult as we tried different tools, but managed it after several attempts. We asked for a digging bar from one of our neighbours and using the iron rod, pulled the grille out. We also broke the glass using the same rod. We saw a nurse and asked her how many patients are there inside. She told us the hospital was almost full.”
Some of them climbed inside. Mohsin Shaikh, 27, another resident, said, “There were patients from all age groups, some of them were in ICU and critical. The smoke from the fire was suffocating them. We started shifting them on stretchers and took them to the ambulance to be shifted to different hospitals.”
Shaikh added that while rescuing, they saw over 30 oxygen cylinders, which they decided to move away from the hospital. “We carried them on our back and outside the hospital to safety.”
Ansari added that the fire brigade, too, had reached the spot by the time they rescued a few of the patients from the window side.
Insurance advisor, Sayyed Rehan, 50, a patient who was rescued from the window, said, “I was admitted in the general ward on April 22 for pneumonia. On Wednesday morning, my son had gone for Sehri, while I was sleeping. I woke up due to the commotion and saw smoke in the entire room. I tried to run, but the door was jammed, when I saw few people at the window. For almost 10-15 minutes, they were trying to break the window. They managed to raise the grille and those of us who could walk, crawled from the space. If not for these men, I would have not survived.” He was shifted to Bilal Hospital in Mumbra.
(Inputs by Faisal)