Mumbai: In the intervening night of Thursday and Friday, a fire that first erupted on the first floor of the Dreams Mall in Bhandup, soon escalated and reached the top-most floor which houses the Sunrise Hospital treatingcoronavirus patients. At least 76 patients were trapped inside, out of whom 73 were COVID-19 patients, and until Friday afternoon, 10 were pronounced dead.The fire was reported around 12:30 am and 20 fire engines, 15 water tankers and several ambulances were rushed to the spot to evacuate the people. A number of patients in the hospital were on ventilators as well, and onepatient even reportedly locked himself up in a room in a bid to save himself from the blaze.10 patients deadPreliminary information had revealed that two charred bodies were recovered from the fire, but the hospital authorities claimed that the bodies were already kept in the hospital and were of patients who had passed away due toCOVID-19. “There was no casualty due to the fire,” an official statement by the hospital read However, later the death toll in the mishap rose to 10 with Mumbai fire brigade officials stating that all of them had succumbed due to asphyxiation. The evacuated patients were moved to nearby hospitals and COVID centres and were put on oxygen support. While 30 patients have been sent to the Mulund Jumbo Centre, four have been sent to Fortis Hospital in Bhandup.Five patients are at Agarwal Hospital. Two at Viraj Hospital, Thane, and one each at Godrej Hospital, Ghatkopar; Sarathi Hospital, Tank Road; and BKC Phase 1 Centre. Two patients have been sent home.Mayor Kishori Pednekar visits blaze siteMumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar visited the site of the mishap in the wee hours of Friday and expressed concerns over the hospital operating inside the mall. “I have seen a hospital at a mall for the first time,” she said, addingaction will be taken if irregularities were found in allowing the facility to operate there. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited the hospital around noon to inspect and enquire about the incident which claimed 10 lives at a time when the city is already struggling with the second coronavirus wave. Addressing themedia, he said, “At some places, we had given permission for temporary hospitals due to the COVID-19 situation last year and the hospital in Dreams Mall was one of them. The temporary permission was to end on March 31.The matter will be investigated. The BMC on Friday ordered an investigation into the fire incident. Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh confirmed fire lapses at the COVID-19 centre and Dreams Mall and further said that actions will be taken against thosewho are responsible Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale, who visited the site and took stock of the situation, said that a complaint will be registered against the incident. “10 people have died. This is a serious incident. Negligence ofhospital management has come to light. We will register a case,” he said BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Friday said that he would file a complaint of criminal negligence against the BMC in connection with the fire. He called the mall an “epitome of corruption”. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)also sought to know how a COVID-19 centre was given permission to operate in a mall.