In Mumbai, massive fire accident broke out at a well-known Hospital on 17 December, causing injury to more than 140 people & killed 9 peoples including a two months old infant. Of nine fatalities, majority died due to suffocation & one panicked and jumped from third floor to his death. The fire was first noticed near the Operation Theatre of the five storey Hospital & quickly spread horizontally and vertically trapping around 155 people. Immediately fire brigade were called to the spot; ten fire tenders & 15 ambulances are used at the spot. The victims were then moved to various hospitals across the city for medication.
Fire blaze root cause
On investigation it was found that construction work was progressed in the hospital premises for new wings since 2009. The hospital does not have proper Fire Objection certificate (FOC), as the Hospital lapses in adhering to the safety measures. The sparks generated during welding work in the hospital’s old wing caused strips of rubber lying to catch fire. The smoke then spread on the upper floor through an open fire ducts.
Healing place not a death trap
The glass facade throughout the Hospital posed a hindrance to evacuation, blocked air passage and lead to asphyxiation. The firemen had broken the glass on all floors and evacuated victims. The biggest challenges in this accident were the bed ridden patients, as they had to be rescued through the window with the help of fire brigade ladder. Fire fighters faced lot of challenge in rescuing, as the hospital did not have an alternate emergency exit. Hospital needs to be only a healing place, and not a place for death trap.
Violation of safety norms
The incident investigation clearly showed that the Hospital Management had violated the safety standards and took advantage on the safety rules. Also staffs in the Hospital were unaware of the safety norms and standards. There was no proper fire safety management system in the hospital. Thoughtlessness and negligence of Hospital management took precious life of innocent people.
Implementing safety norms
In order to prevent fire accident, Fire safety management system should be strictly implemented in all Health care. Ultimately, a professional with detailed knowledge on safety is required to prevent such hazards, to take control measures and to avoid major accidents in the Hospitals. NIST offers many safety courses like Fire watcher, Fire Fighting, Fire Safety will make the individuals to respond to emergency situations and provide knowledge on Fire preventions, Evacuation procedures, Handling fire equipment’s etc… NIST also provides Life-saving First aid course & AHA’s Heart saver first aid courses, which enables the candidates to treat the victims in life threatening conditions. It’s better to equip ourselves with safety courses than to learn safety through accidents. NIST could be a partner to implement HSEMS systems for hospitals to avoid such risks