Mumbai fire toll hits 8

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A rescued person is rushed out after a fire broke out at the five-story government-run ESIC Kamgar Hospital in Andheri, Mumbai, India on Dec 17. Police say the fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical short circuit. (AP)

The death toll from a fire that swept through a Mumbai hospital has risen to eight, officials said Tuesday. Dozens of firefighters rushed to the Monday afternoon fire at the government-run ESIC Kamgar Hospital, but smoke engulfed the entire five-story building.

At least eight people died in the fire, a police official said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Among the dead was an infant just a few months old, Indian news reports said. More than 140 people were rescued, with the hospital’s patients transferred to a series of nearby hospitals.

Deadly fires are common in India, where building inspections are often very lax. “We still don’t know the cause yet, but an inquiry is going on,” Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar told reporters at the scene, vowing that any officials responsible for the fire would be punished. (AP)

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