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Mumbai Hospital Fire: FIR Against HDIL's Wadhawans and 4 Others for 'Culpable Homicide'

Patients from the COVID-19 dedicated Sunrise Hospital being shifted after a fire in the adjacent Dreams Mall, in Mumbai. (PTI)

Patients from the COVID-19 dedicated Sunrise Hospital being shifted after a fire in the adjacent Dreams Mall, in Mumbai. (PTI)

Nine COVID-19 patients died due to suffocation as a result of the fire, while two other patients had already died due to coronavirus just before the fire broke out, the BMC said.

As the fire at a Bhandup mall which claimed the lives of nine COVID-19 patients admitted at the hospital in the same building was finally doused on Saturday, a case has been registered against HDIL promoter Rakesh Wadhawan and five others for ‘culpable homicide’. The blaze, which broke out early Friday morning at Dreams Mall in suburban Bhandup and spread to Sunrise Hospital, a COVID-19 facility on its top floor, was doused completely after 40 hours, a fire department official said.

Bhandup police on late Friday night registered a case in connection with the incident against six persons including Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd promoter Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang who are, allegedly, directors of the mall. No arrest has been made so far.

“Rakesh Wadhawan, Nikita Amit Singh Trehan, Sarang Wadhawan and Deepak Shirke, who are directors of the mall, and Amit Singh Trehan and Sweety Jain, who are directors of the hospital are named in the FIR. Nikita Trehan is also a director of the hospital," said a police official. IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 34 (common intention) have been invoked, he added.

The Wadhawans had been earlier booked in the PMC Bank fraud case. “During the probe so far we found several lapses.

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“There was mismanagement in terms of security and the fire safety equipment was not checked regularly," the official said. The four-storey (ground plus three) mall houses as many as 1,108 shops, but 40 per cent of them are closed, he said.

Sunrise Hospital was converted into a Covid Care Centre in January, the official said. The fire broke out in a shop shortly after Thursday midnight and spread to the hospital on the top floor.

Nine COVID-19 patients died due to suffocation as a result of the fire, while two other patients had already died due to coronavirus just before the fire broke out, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. Altogether 78 patients were being treated at the 107- bed hospital at the time of the incident, the BMC said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who visited the spot on Friday afternoon, had said permission was granted to the hospital to run a COVID-19 centre temporarily. The rescued patients have been shifted to various hospitals including Jumbo Covid Hospital in Mulund, Fortis Hospital in Bhandup, Viraj Hospital in Thane, BKC Phase 1 COVID centre, Godrej Hospital at Ghatkopar, Sarathi Hospital on Tank Road and Agarwal Hospital.

Municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has also ordered an inquiry into the fire, civic officials said.

first published:March 27, 2021, 20:04 IST