Mumbai: Massive fire in Chembur high-rise kills five

Mumbai: Five people were killed, including 4 senior citizens, and three were in ICU, after a massive fire broke out in Sargam, a ground plus 16-storey residential building in Chembur (W) on Thursday night. According to BMC’s disaster management cell, the fire broke out on the 10th floor of B-wing at around 8 pm and later it spread to other floors. It is learnt that most residents were alerted on WhatsAPP about the fire; only then did they rush out of the building. An LPG cylinder had exploded in the blaze.

The Mumbai Fire Brigade declared it a level-three fire (read massive). Six fire engines and six water tankers were rushed to the spot. Fire officials said, “Due to parking on both sides of road, fire-fighting vehicles found it difficult to access the high-rise.”

All the five dead have been identified; three deceased were members of the same family, namely, Sunita Joshi (72), Bhalchandra Joshi (72) and Suman Joshi (83); the other two victims were Sarala Suresh Gangar (52) and Lakshmiben Premji Gangar (83). The Gangars were charred to death. The fire possibly started in their house. The two women were praying at the time of the mishap.

One of the persons who died was ironically spearheading the firefighting compliance. The three units of the buildings did not have Occupancy Certificate. According to Dr Vidya Thakur, the three deceased who belonged to one family died due to suffocation and excessive inhalation of smoke. No critical burn injuries were found on their bodies.

Suman’s husband Srinivas was rescued from the tenth floor. “He is stable, there are no major injuries but is traumatised,” Thakur added. According to the BMC officials, it was a redevelopment building of the Maharshtra Housing and Area Development Authority. Officials said that fire-fighting and search operations were still on. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. It was reported at 7.50 pm.

Recently, 11 persons had lost their lives, including a weekold baby girl, in a fire at the ESIC Kamgar Hospital. The 325- bed hospital had not obtained a mandatory no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Mumbai fire department. There were around 375 people, including patients and visitors, in the five-floor hospital when the fire broke out.

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