Six Killed, 100 Injured As Fire Guts Hospital In Mumbai

 

No fewer than six persons have been reported dead after fire engulfed a hospital in Mumbai on Monday.

Officials say more than 100 were injured in the latest disaster which raises concerns about fire safety in India.

The blaze broke out around 4:00 pm (1130 GMT) on the fourth floor of the government-run ESIC Kamgar hospital in the northern suburb of Andheri.

Six people died, according to a statement released by the civic authority’s disaster management cell. Around 150 patients, doctors and nurses were rescued.

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“They were rescued from different floors by firemen using ladders,” a disaster management official told the Press Trust of India news agency, adding that they were then taken to other hospitals for treatment.

He added that the cause of the fire was not yet known.

Accidental fires are common across India because of poor safety standards and lax enforcement of regulations. They are particularly common in densely populated Mumbai, India’s financial capital.

In December last year at least 14 people were killed when a huge blaze tore through a popular restaurant in the city.

Earlier that month a fire swept through a Mumbai sweet shop, sparking a building collapse which killed 12 sleeping workers.

 

AFP

Five Killed In Mumbai Plane Crash

File: Aircraft queue up on the tarmac due to monsoon showers delays before taking off at Mumbai airport on June 7, 2018.

 

A small plane crashed into a construction site in a densely populated part of India’s financial capital Mumbai on Thursday, killing five people including one on the ground, officials said.

Images broadcast on Indian news channels showed flames and black smoke billowing from the area, which sits right next to several high-rise residential towers.

There were four people on the 12-seater aircraft, disaster management officials said, with witnesses reporting hearing a loud blast as it smashed into a half-built structure.

“There was a huge explosion and the adjacent tree caught fire and the fire spilled on the streets,” a man was quoted as saying on the NDTV news channel.

“Initially we assumed an electric box in the under-construction building must have caught fire but when we checked out the spot, we found the charred body of a man who apparently was on bike when the plane crashed,” he added.

A woman, who was also not named, reported hearing three loud explosions and described seeing a “major fire”.

Video footage posted online showed bright orange flames licking the side of a building next to a construction site.

Other images shot after the fire was put out showed firemen sifting through the twisted wreckage of the twin-prop plane as crowds looked on.

The white tailfin seemed to be the only recognisable part of the aircraft not consumed in the blaze.
India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the plane was a turbo-prop King Air C-90 and had been on a test flight from the nearby Juhu airstrip.

“There were two pilots and two aircraft maintenance engineers on board. All on board (the) aircraft along with one person on ground are dead,” the DGCA statement read.

– ‘Completely charred’ –

A medical officer at Rajawadi hospital, where the victims were taken, said the dead included three men and two women.

“There bodies were completely charred due to the fire,” she told AFP, adding that two injured had also been admitted and were in a stable condition.

It was not raining at the time of the accident and weather did not appear to have been a factor in the crash.

DGCA said it was sending a team to investigate the cause, adding that the aircraft was owned by a private operator who had purchased it from the Uttar Pradesh state government.

P Rahangdale, Mumbai’s chief fire officer, said several fire engines had rushed to the spot.

India’s National Disaster Response Force said it was also sending a team to make sure no there were no injured trapped under any rubble at the crash site.

Former Indian Aviation Minister Praful Patel tweeted his condolences and praised the pilot for the guiding the plane into an open area.

“Salute to the pilot who showed presence of mind to avoid a big mishap, saving many lives at the cost of her own life,” he wrote.

There have been several crashes involving small planes in India in recent years.

In 2015 a light aircraft belonging to India’s paramilitary border force crashed after taking off from New Delhi airport, killing 10 people on board.

Ten people were killed in 2011 after an air ambulance crashed into a residential area in Faridabad, near the capital. Seven people on board and three on the ground were killed.

The last deadly air crash involving a commercial plane happened in 2010 when an Air India Boeing 737-800 overshot the runway while landing at Mangalore airport in southern India.

At least 158 passengers were killed and nearly a dozen others survived the crash Spokesman told AFP.

Mumbai Fire Kills At Least 15 – Police

A general view of a building on fire where a rooftop party was being held in Mumbai early on December 29, 2017. At least 14 people were killed when a huge blaze tore through a popular restaurant in Mumbai early December 29, police said, in the latest disaster to raise concerns over fire safety in India.
AFP

Fire tore through a Mumbai building where a rooftop party was being held early Friday, killing at least 15 people and leaving many injured, police said.

The blaze started just after midnight in a top floor restaurant in the centre of the city and quickly spread to two adjacent bars, destroying the entire building in 30 minutes, media reports said.

Most of those who died were women at a party at the restaurant, Mumbai’s disaster management authorities said.

One woman who said she was in the building at the time told of the desperate scenes as people tried to escape.

“There was a stampede and someone pushed me,” Sulbha Arora said on Twitter. “People were running over me even as the ceiling above me was collapsing in flames. Still don’t know how I got out alive. Some powers were definitely protecting me.”

Television footage showed fire engines and emergency teams rushing to the scene as the building was being consumed by flames and dark plumes of smoke rose into the night sky.

“So far the deaths of 15 people have been declared,” S. Jaykumar, a Mumbai police commissioner, told reporters, adding that the cause of the fire was under investigation.

More than a dozen people were taken to nearby hospitals and two were in critical condition, civic authorities said.

Firefighter Sanjay Hiwarle told reporters the blaze was brought under control during the night and a “cooling operation” was underway.

The blaze broke out in the Kamala Mills compound, which houses restaurants and other commercial establishments including hotels, around 12:30 am (1900 GMT), police said.

Several media organisations also use the building and at least three national news channels were affected by the fire, including Times network’s Times Now, Mirror Now and ET Now channels.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his condolences on Twitter.

“Disturbing news about the fire in Mumbai. Condolences to the bereaved families and wishing the injured an early recovery. Commend the valiant efforts of fire-fighters and those in rescue ops,” he said.

Accidental fires are common across India because of poor safety standards and lax enforcement of existing regulations.

A fire swept through a sweet shop in Mumbai earlier this month, sparking a building collapse which killed 12 sleeping workers.

In September, a gas cylinder exploded in an unfinished building in Mumbai killing six people.

AFP

Commuter Stampede Kills 22 In Mumbai

Indian pedestrians walk through the scene of a stampede on a railway bridge in Mumbai on September 29, 2017. Commuters stampeded on a Mumbai railway bridge during the morning rush hour September 29 killing at least 15 people, a disaster management official said.
PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP

A commuter stampede on a Mumbai railway bridge during the morning rush hour Friday killed at least 22 people, officials said.

Dozens of people took shelter on the bridge during a sudden monsoon downpour and the deadly crush started as they emerged all at once, Indian Railways spokesman Anil Saxena said.

Avinash Supe, a dean of KEM Hospital, told AFP there were 22 dead.

“There was a huge crowd on the FOB (foot overbridge). Everybody tried to leave at once and it appeared one of them slipped and fell, triggering the stampede,” Saxena told reporters.

The bridge connects the Elphinstone and Parel stations in south Mumbai.

The toll is likely to rise further, a disaster management cell spokesman warned. “It was the peak hour rush but the stampede has been brought under control,” Tanaji Kamble told AFP.

TV footage showed commuters trying to revive the injured by pumping their chests and also carrying some downstairs to street level.

“We put everybody who was injured in cars, police vans and ambulances and tried to take them to the hospital as quickly as possible,” said one witness.

“There were 3-4 women who were badly injured, I don’t know whether they survived.”

Local trains are the lifeline for the 20 million people of Mumbai. Some 7.5 million commuters take the train daily, with services running every three minutes on average.

Hundreds die every year due to losing their grip on the doors, falling while trying to get into packed compartments, hitting electric poles outside or doing stunts while hanging off the train.

Official figures say some 3,400 people died in 2016 either from falling off the trains or while crossing the tracks of what is the world’s most overcrowded suburban rail network.

Stampedes at India’s religious festivals are also common with police and volunteer stewards often overwhelmed by the sheer size of the crowds.

In January, six women died in West Bengal state and last year 24 people were killed after a stampede broke out in the Hindu holy town of Varanasi.

AFP

Three Dead, Dozens Feared Trapped In Mumbai Building Collapse

Indian rescue workers look for survivors at the building collapse site in Mumbai on August 31, 2017. At least three people died and dozens were feared trapped when a building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai, after days of heavy rain swamped the city.
PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP

At least three people died and dozens were feared trapped when a building collapsed in India’s financial capital of Mumbai Thursday, after days of heavy rain swamped the city.

Rescuers using diggers could be seen sifting through the remains of the four-storey residential building which gave way around 08:40 am (0310 GMT) in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar.

It was the latest deadly housing collapse to strike the teeming metropolis — shining a spotlight on poor construction standards in the Asian country — and came after heavy rains and inundations in the city killed 10 people.

A spokesman for the Mumbai civic authority’s disaster control team said three bodies had been pulled from the rubble.

“Three people are dead and thirteen injured have been rescued from the building collapse. Two firemen also have been injured during the rescue operations,” Tanaji Kamble, told AFP.

An official in the control room of India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said dozens more were thought to be trapped, he added.

“Forty people are believed to be stuck inside and a 43-member team is conducting rescue operations,” the official told AFP.

He said eight or nine families were thought to have been living in the building.

Building collapses are common in Mumbai, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September, when heavy rains lash the western Indian city.

Severe downpours began on Tuesday and caused flooding across Mumbai and the neighbouring region of Thane.

The collapse came as officials said the death toll from the floods was expected to rise above 10, despite the waters receding after better weather.

“We are still on the lookout for more missing persons and the number may go up,” Santosh Kadam, spokesman for disaster control in Thane, told AFP.

Bhendi Bazaar, a scruffy colonial-era market, is one of Mumbai’s most historic districts.

It is currently undergoing a six-hundred-million-dollar redevelopment project that is set to replace hundreds of ramshackle, decades-old low-rise buildings with around a dozen glitzy new tower blocks.

Mumbai has been hit by several deadly building collapses in recent years, often caused by shoddy construction, poor quality materials or ageing buildings.

The city is particularly vulnerable to deadly collapse with millions forced to live in cramped, ramshackle properties because of rising real estate prices and a lack of housing for the poor.

Activists say housing societies, private owners and builders often cut corners to save on costs. They also claim that corruption plays a part with officials sometimes knowingly certifying dilapidated buildings in return for money.

In July, 17 people including a three-month-old baby, died when a four-storey building gave way in the northern suburb of Ghatkopar.

In 2013, 60 people were killed when a residential block came crashing down in one of Mumbai’s worst housing disasters.

AFP

Mumbai Back To Normal Amid Fears Of Fresh Rains

Mumbai slowly returned to normal on Wednesday (August 30) with train services gradually resuming as heavy monsoon rains, which had brought life in India’s financial capital to a halt, stopped.

Two toddlers were among at least six people who died in the flash floods triggered by the torrential rains. The rains destroyed homes and disrupted traffic in Mumbai on Tuesday (August 29).

Suburban trains slowly started getting back on track and dozens of commuters began walking to work in Mumbai, a city of 20 million people that is home to India’s two biggest stock exchanges and the headquarters of several major companies.

Some low-lying areas remained under water, causing vehicle pile-ups, after the city received nearly a month’s equivalent of rainfall in a single day. Authorities ordered schools and colleges to shut following forecasts of more rain.

A resident of Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums said things were going well with little rain water left behind and power supply restored. However, she feared another downpour.

Weather officials predict heavy seasonal monsoon rains in the city and its surroundings over the next 24 hours, following more than 200 mm (7 inches) of rain in Mumbai, and urged people to stay indoors.

At Least 24 Dead As Trains Derail In India

trains-derailed-in-indiaTwo passenger trains in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have derailed minutes apart on a partially flooded bridge, killing at least 24 people.

According to the officials, some coaches fell into a river just as the trains were passing each other near the town of Harda.

About 25 people were said to have been injured while 300 were rescued. They also said the death toll could rise.

The Kamayani Express travelling from Varanasi to Mumbai derailed first, while the Janata Express travelling in the opposite direction derailed shortly after.

It was gathered that emergency personnel worked through the night, to free those trapped, while all the coaches had been cleared and bodies of the victims recovered by morning.

A spokesperson for Indian Railways, Anil Saxena, said the bridge was partially submerged as the water level of the river was high due to heavy monsoon rain over the past two weeks.

Teams of rescuers had trouble reaching the area overnight, due to the weather and the remote location of the accident.

A train carrying around 100 doctors and rescuers was dispatched to the location as other medics were sent by road.

Indian Soldier Kills Colleagues

An Indian soldier has shot dead five of his colleagues before killing himself in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The incident took place on Wednesday night at a military camp about 20km north of the city of Srinagar.

Reports say soldiers stationed in the region often complain of long working hours, in poor conditions and with inadequate leave.

Authorities say since 2009 more soldiers and paramilitary troops have died in fratricidal killings and suicides than while fighting militants and rebels.

India’s armed forces, the world’s third largest, struggle to fill thousands of vacancies mainly due to difficult conditions and the high risks involved, according to the Defense Ministry.

“One of the Army men ran amok and fired indiscriminately at his colleagues inside an army camp at Safa Pora,” Army Spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel N N Joshi said of the incident in the early hours in the border state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Five Army men died on the spot and one was injured. The Army man later shot himself dead using his service rifle,” Joshi said, adding that the Army has ordered an inquiry.

The shooting comes a day after India’s Navy Chief quit after taking responsibility for a string of operational incidents, the latest of which saw smoke sweep a submarine with two officers still missing. A dockside blast in Mumbai killed all 18 aboard another submarine in August.

There were 635 cases of suicide or attempted suicide in the armed forced from 2003 to 2007, all “attributable to increased stress environment leading to psychological imbalance in the soldiers”, a parliamentary committee said in a 2010 report.

Indian Submarine Blasts: Divers Struggle To Search Vessel

Navy divers standing on the INS Sindhurakshak submarine prepare to dive into the waters of the Arabian Sea, during a rescue operation in Mumbai August 14, 2013.Indian divers are struggling to search a submarine which sank after it exploded in a Mumbai dockyard with 18 sailors feared dead inside.

Rescuers are yet to reach any of the crew who were on board when two huge explosions led to a devastating fire early on Wednesday.

Officials say they have been hampered by poor visibility, restricted space and equipment displaced by the blasts.The divers are also working to bring the vessel back to surface. India’s navy chief has warned the country to “prepare for the worst”.

It is not clear what caused the blasts on the diesel and electricity-powered INS Sindhurakshak. An inquiry is under way and sabotage has not been ruled out, although officials say that looks unlikely at this stage.

Officials say divers aboard the submarine are working around the clock in difficult conditions.

The vessel is filled with sea-water and the heat of the explosion also melted parts of the internal hull, deforming the submarine hatches and preventing access to compartments. Heavy duty pumps are being used to pump out water in order to help refloat the vessel.

As India marked Independence Day, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed sorrow: “We are deeply pained that we lost the submarine INS Sindurakshak in an accident yesterday. Eighteen brave sailors are feared to have lost their lives,” he said.

The prime minister said it was all the more painful considering the navy’s recent successes in launching a home-built submarine and acquiring a nuclear submarine.

 


 

India Submarine Blast: Lives Lost In Mumbai Port

A man watches Indian Navy submarine INS Sindhurakshak on fire in Mumbai August 13, 2013A number of crew have been killed in a huge explosion and fire on an Indian submarine berthed at a Mumbai dockyard, India’s defence minister says.

AK Anthony said he felt “sad about those navy personnel who lost their lives”. Earlier the navy said it feared 18 sailors had been trapped on board.

The blast on the INS Sindhurakshak took place after midnight and fire-fighters spent four hours putting out the blaze.

Officials said the diesel-powered vessel was badly damaged.

Mr Antony gave no further details about how many people were killed and if he was referring to deaths among the sailors still trapped on the submarine.

But one navy official said that “surviving an explosion of this huge scale” was rare.

Many sailors managed to jump to safety after the blast. Rescue teams are on scene and some of the injured were taken to hospital. The submarine remains partly submerged at its berth.

It is unclear exactly what caused the explosion but dramatic images on Indian television showed a large fireball illuminating the sky. Smoke from the blaze could be seen in many parts of the city.

A naval inquiry has been set up to look into the causes of the incident, but officials said they suspect it to be the result of an on-board error and not an act involving any outside agency.

The Russian-built submarine was upgraded recently at a cost of $80m (£52m).

Russian firm Zvyozdochka, which refitted the submarine, said the vessel had been fully operational when it was returned to India in January.

 

Indian Gang Rape Victim Dies In The Hospital

An Indian woman who was a victim of assault by a gang in New Delhi died in a Singapore hospital on Saturday due to some injuries she suffered during the attack.

The six suspects held in connection with the December 16 attack on the 23-year-old medical student on a New Delhi bus were charged with murder following her death, police said. The maximum penalty for murder is death.

Earlier, bracing for a new wave of protests, Indian authorities deployed thousands of policemen, closed 10 metro stations and banned vehicles from some main roads in the heart of New Delhi, where demonstrators have converged since the attack to demand improved women’s rights.

Despite efforts to cordon off the city Centre, more than 1,000 people gathered for peaceful protests at two locations. Some protesters shouted for justice, others for the death penalty for the rapists.

The woman severely beaten, raped and thrown out of a moving bus, had been flown to Singapore in a critical condition by the Indian government on Thursday for treatment.

The intense media coverage of the attack and the use of social media to galvanize protests, mostly by young middle-class students, has forced political leaders to confront some uncomfortable truths about the treatment of women in the world’s largest democracy.

Most sex crimes in India go unreported, many offenders go unpunished, and the wheels of justice turn slowly, according to social activists who say that successive governments have done little to ensure the safety of women.

“The need of the hour is a dispassionate debate and inquiry into the critical changes that are required in societal attitudes,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in a statement.

“I hope that the entire political class and civil society will set aside narrow sectional interests and agenda to help us all reach the end that we all desire – making India a demonstrably better and safer place for women to live in.”

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the northern Indian city of Lucknow. In Hyderabad, in southern India, a group of women marched to demand severe punishment for the rapists. Protests were also held in the cities of Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.

The demonstrations were peaceful, unlike last weekend, when police used batons, water cannon and teargas in clashes with protesters.

Sonia Gandhi, the powerful leader of the ruling Congress party, directly addressed the protesters in a rare broadcast on state television, saying that as a mother and a woman she understood their grievances.

“Your voice has been heard,” Gandhi said. “It deepens our determination to battle the pervasive and the shameful social attitudes that allow men to rape and molest women with such impunity.”

The Indian government has chartered an aircraft to fly the student’s body back to India on Saturday, along with members of her family, T.C.A. Raghavan, the Indian high commissioner to Singapore, told reporters.

The body was taken to a Hindu casket firm in Singapore for embalming. Indian diplomats selected a gold and yellow coffin to transport her home, staff at the firm told reporters.

“She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome,” Kelvin Loh, chief executive officer of the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore said in a statement announcing her death from multiple organ failure.

The victim and a male friend were returning home from the cinema by bus when, media reports say, six men on the bus beat them with metal rods and repeatedly raped the woman. Media said a rod was used in the rape, causing internal injuries. Both were thrown from the bus. The male friend survived.

Six suspects, from a slum in south Delhi, are in custody.

Reuters