Fire Incidents in Ahmedabad

It was a horrendous morning for many of us and especially the family members who lost their loved ones in the fire tragedy at Shrey Hospital in Navrangpura on Thursday morning. Ashaval lists a few major fire incidents that claimed lives and petrified many.

Fire in Hospitals

Shrey Hospital, Navrangpura

August 2020

Casualties: 8

An incident that took away the lives of eight innocent people on Thursday morning brought chills down the spine. The fire that broke out at 3:30 am in ICU of the dedicated Covid-19 hospital claimed eight lives. 

The fourth floor where the incident happened had no fire clearance. 

As per eye-witness, a fire broke out near bed number 9 following which a patient’s hair caught fire and the entire ICU was up in flames. Five men and three women corona patients died in an unfortunate incident. 

The callous attitude towards the innocent lives lost is clearly evident as several days after the incident, it was only on August 11 that an FIR was filed against Bharat Mahant, managing trustee of the hospital.  

It is said that there were around 35 staff members and 49 Covid-19 infected patients in the hospital. After the incident, the remaining patients were shifted to SVP Hospital. 

While trying to douse the fire, a staffer’s PPE had caught fire due to which he suffered minor burn injuries. 

Relatives of the deceased alleged that the hospital had not even cared to inform about the incident. It was only through the media and calls from relatives they came to know about it. 

CM Vijay Rupani has ordered an inquiry in this incident, the report of which has already been submitted. Further actions will be taken based on the report. 

It is to be noted that in over 16 months, six fire incidents have been reported in different hospitals.

Apple Children Hospital, Parimal Garden 

May 2019

Casualties: None

It was a close call for 11 newborn babies as the ‘illegal’ canteen of Apple Superspeciality Children’s hospital had caught fire on May 13, 2019. 

The four-storey building, Dev Complex, houses four different medical centres along with a hotel. At the time of the incident, there were around 150 patients and 300-odd people in the building who were all evacuated safely. 

The canteen named ‘Flames’ on the terrace of the complex seemed to have caught fire following a gas cylinder blast. The fibre shed quickly caught fire and everything was gutted. 

Out of the 11 babies that were in neonatal care, five were newborn females, two newborn males and one baby were just six months old. 

Officials of the estate department stated that even though BU permission was granted to the building in 2005, no permission was given to construct anything on the terrace. 

Six fire engines had rushed to the spot to control the fire that was doused in 45 minutes. 

Fire at Industrial Units

Nandan Denim, Narol road

February 10 2020, yet again on August 8, 2020 

Casualties: 7

If the loss of seven lives in February this year was not enough for the factory owners to take proper precautions, a fire broke out at Chiripal group owned Nandan Denim for the second time recently. It is considered one of the leading denim makers in the world. 

It was only on February 7, 2020, that a major fire claimed the lives of seven workers of the factory located on Narol-Pirana Road. As many as 55 fire tenders were rushed at the spot to control the fire which took over 22 hours. 

On the day of the incident, only five bodies were recovered and the other two bodies were found only by next afternoon. The bodies were burned beyond recognition. 

Following the incident, the factory was issued a closure notice.  The fire was said to have started in the ‘shirting department’ where around 60 labourers were working on the first floor. Many managed to escape, however, due to lack of ventilation, a few including the victims got stuck there. 

There was only one exit where the fire erupted which could only be reached by climbing a steep ladder. As per reports, the police stated ‘Preliminary probe revealed that the factory had just one door for entry and exit on the first floor, which was accessible with a single ladder, and had no fire safety measures in place’. (Quoted from The Indian Express)

Following this tragic incident, company director, PK Sharma, GM of shirting division, BC Patel and company’s fire safety officer, Ravikant Sinha were arrested by the police, who later got bail.

No casualties were reported in the fire that broke out on August 8. However, 17 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames. 

Within two weeks of this episode, three youths died working in a textile unit in Odhav. 

ONGC, Nandej 

Incident: March 2019

Casualties: 2 

The ill-fated incident claimed lives of two-contractual workers when a fire broke out at an ONGC well in Nandej on March 14, 2019. The incident happened while the workers were carrying out maintenance work at the ONGC site near Ahmedabad. Four others were gravely injured. 

The flames were doused in 45 minutes with the help of nine fire engines. The cause behind the fire was considered to be a blast that led to inflammable liquid catching fire. 

Fire in Residential Buildings

Shreeji Towers, Opposite Himalaya Mall 

September 2018 

Casualties: None 

Imagine over 4,000 tyres burning in the basement of a building! Everyone would run for their lives. Despite such a massive fire, around 500 residents of Shreeji Tower were lucky enough to escape unhurt. 

Thick smoke had engulfed the entire Block A and B as 4000 tyres of the Hemant tyres shop owned by Ashwin Mittal were burning. It took 10 hours, 60 firefighters, 600 litres of foam and 2.5 lakh litres of water to bring the fire under control. 

As many as 250 residents of Block A were temporarily homeless till the building was structurally cleared to stay. None of the fire equipment was functional and rescuing people would have been difficult if the flames had reached the floors above. 

A complaint was also filed against the shop owner Aswin Mittal, of Hemant Tyres for keeping inflammable substances which exceeded the fire safety provisions. 

Ganesh Genesis, Gota

Incident: July 2019

Casualties: 1

Fire in an apartment on the fifth floor of Ganesh Genesis claimed the life of one and injured at least eight people. The primary cause of the fire was said to be a short circuit in the AC unit of E-504. 

Residents claimed that the house had excessive wooden furniture which increased the intensity of the fire. The fire rapidly moved towards the above floors. 

The deceased, Aparna Patel, resided on the sixth floor of the 11-storeyed building. Those injured were placed under observation while 25 other residents were taken to GMERS hospital

The fire was controlled with the help of 22 fire engines and 80 firemen in four hours. 

One of the firemen who inhaled the smoke while trying to save people’s lives was also admitted in the hospital.

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