“This incident had to happen tomorrow, if not today. Even the hospital administration knew this, but still no one showed seriousness. We had filed a complaint several times and told that a big accident can happen here anytime. It is good that the fire started after the closure of OPD. If the same fire had happened two-and-a-half hours earlier, hundreds of people would have died. “This employee of ESIC Hospital in Mumbai further says,” This is neither the first incident nor the last fire in this hospital. In the same year, the hospital was set on fire several times, but still no action was taken by the administration. ”
Last week, ten people died due to fire in Mumbai’s ‘Employees State Insurance Corporation’ ie ESIC Hospital. Hundreds of people have also been seriously injured in this accident, who are being treated in different hospitals in Mumbai. According to people present on the spot, this fire occurred during the ongoing construction work on the ground floor. Welding was going on here, with a few sheets of rubber nearby. This horrific accident occurred due to fire in these sheets.
Eyewitnesses of this incident say that this fire was not very severe and the fire did not do as much damage as its smoke did. Since this fire was located near the air-conditioner’s duck, this smoke spread quickly throughout the building and some people died due to suffocation. Apart from this, some people also lost their lives because they jumped from the third floor to avoid the fire.
Where Did It Start?
A hospital employee who was present on the occasion says, “Had the same fire started two hours earlier, the death toll would have been in the hundreds. Because OPD opens during the day and then there is a huge crowd of people here. In such a situation, if there was a panic in the fire at that time, then many people would have lost their lives. By the evening the crowd reduces considerably. Despite this, ten people died in this accident. This has happened entirely due to the negligence of the administration. ”
Many hospital staff tell that the negligence with which this hospital was being run for the last several years, there was a constant scope for such accidents.
An employee working in the hospital’s lab said on the condition of anonymity, “On March 20 this year, there was a fire in the blood bank of the hospital and a man was killed. After this, we had told the administration in writing that some improvement in the hospital needs to be done immediately. There are many irregularities here from staff to security. There is not even an emergency exit in the blood bank and the equipment that is kept here to extinguish the fire has become so old that it is no longer of any use. But instead of heeding these complaints, the administration ignored the incident. ”
A few months after this fire in the blood bank, an incident of fire also occurred in the kitchen of ESIC Hospital. But this accident was also taken so lightly that no measures were taken even after this to avoid emergency.
The situation was that neither fire audit nor fire NOC was taken in the hospital for the past several years. A worker working in this hospital for the last six years says, “Construction work is going on in this hospital before my appointment. This construction is going to be around ten years but it is not completed yet. Due to this construction, there is chaos in the entire hospital. Somewhere construction material remains scattered and at some places basic requirements like toilet and drinking water are also incomplete. Talking to the hospital administration about this, their only answer is that construction work is going on now, so there are problems, soon it will be reduced. But even after ten years, this construction is still incomplete. ”
Swarnav Banerjee, president of ESIC Hospital Employees Union, says, “The accident on Monday was not the fault of the hospital administration but of companies like NBCC and Supreme Construction.” The responsibility of construction work rests with them and the hospital administration has no role in this. This accident happened due to negligence in construction work. ”
He adds, “Wherever construction work has been dumped in the entire hospital. Where welding work is going on, such materials are placed near it which can catch fire only due to light spark. This accident also happened due to such negligence. ”
Response From The Administration
However, many hospital staff do not agree with Swarnav’s words and consider the administration responsible for this incident. One employee says, “Many of these mistakes can happen to these companies, but it is the job of the hospital administration to conduct a fire audit, take NOC, get the power wiring done properly, and maintain the fire extinguishing system. The administration did nothing of these properly. ”
Two days after the horrific incident on Monday, the ESIC Hospital has caught fire once again. Although no one has been injured in this second incident, but it certainly indicates the negligence of the administration. According to the staff, irregularities are also continuously done in the appointments made in the hospital and people who do not have the minimum required qualifications are also appointed on technical posts. Many such appointments have also been challenged in the court and in some cases the court has also canceled these appointments.
An employee working in the Blood Bank of ESIC Hospital says, “Most of the appointments here are such that the eighth pass person has been appointed to technical posts, through promotion. While diploma is necessary for such posts. Such staff is not only unable to deal with emergencies as well as is not able to perform daily technical tasks. ”Newslaundry made several attempts to contact the hospital administration to get answers to these allegations related to irregularities and negligence but There was no response from their side. If the ESIC Hospital Administration puts forward its own allegations in these allegations, it will be included in this report.