At least four persons died after a fire broke out at a private hospital in Maharashtra's Thane district in early hours of Wednesday, said officials. Twenty patients were under treatment at Prime Criticare Hospital, a non-Covid healthcare facility in Mumbra area of the district, when it caught fire. Six of these patients were admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Sandeep Malvi, deputy municipal commissioner of Thane Municipal Corporation said the deaths took place "after" the patients were "shifted to various other hospitals".
Santosh Kadam, chief of Regional Disaster Management Cell (RDMC) of Thane Municipal Corporation also confirmed that all patients including those in the ICU were shifted from Prime Criticare Hospital to different nearby hospitals.
"The fire broke out at 3.40 am on Wednesday, two fire engines, two water tankers, five ambulances and one rescue vehicle were rushed to the spot. We rescued all the 20 patients admitted in the hospital and shifted them to nearby hospitals. All of them were alive when we shifted them; they [the four] died in the respective hospitals after shifting."
A fire department official said a short circuit in the meter room of the hospital could have triggered the fire. The exact cause of the fire will only be known after detailed investigation.
Maharashtra housing minister and Mumbra MLA, Jitendra Awhad, said at least "three to four" people died in the fire. "The RDMC and the fire brigade team were in the process of extinguishing the fire. Six patients in the ICU of the hospital on fire were shifted to nearby hospitals. The fire will be investigated by the police."
Prime Criticare Hospital was located around 40 kilometers north-east of Mumbai. Last week, 15 patients died in a fire at a Covid hospital at Virar in Maharashtra's Palghar district.