Mumbai: There were two new blazes in Mumbai on Saturday which reminded the citizens of the one year anniversary of Kamala Mills blaze. The first fire broke out on the eleventh floor of the Orbit Terrace, an under-construction building at Lower Parel and the second one was reported in Sadhana Industrial Estate building at Worli. Incidentally both these blazes were close to the Kamala Mills com-pound. Initially the news caused a bit of panic with the reports of another fire near Kamala Mills.
The Mumbai Fire Department rushed tankers to Sadhana building to douse the flames. Initially the fire was declared as Level II and subsequently it was escalated to major, level IV. The fire started in a laboratory where medicines and chemical were stored. The primary cause is said to be due to short circuit, thereafter it spread fast due to the chemicals and packaging of the medicines.
In this mishap, 16 fire fighters suffered from suffocation during the fire fighting operations. Of these, some were rushed to Poddar Hospital and some 2 at King Edward’s Memorial (KEM). All have reportedly suffered due to suffocation because they inhaled toxic gas, confirmed RA Choudhary, Deputy Chief Fire Officer (Technical). “I too am being given oxygen as I have suffered due to asphyxiation,” said Choudhary.
Intially Venkatesh Devkate was the first to be rushed to Poddar hospital for medical treatment. Heavy smoke accumulated in an area where exhaust blowers are used to provide ventilation.
He was treated and details were awaited. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Disaster Management Cell the Parel fire erupted early morning around 7.33 am and four fire brigade vehicles were rushed immediately and jumbo water tankers were mobilised to douse. Fortunately, no one was trapped in the under construction building. The fire was brought under control at around 8:20 am.
Similarly, another fire mishap was reported at Sadhana Industrial estate three storeyed building, behind the Bombay Development Directorate (BDD) chawls in early evening, at 4:47 pm. An official said, the fire was confined to the ground floor where the laboratory was situated. It is a 3500-4000 square feet space. Eight fire tenders were rushed to douse the fire.
This is the third major fire in Mumbai in the last 48 hours. Politicians reacted strongly to these incidents, Mumbai Congress president, Sanjay Nirupam alleged, the BMC commissioner, Ajoy Mehta has been giving concessions to the builders, who have breached all fire safety norms. “We are demanding a judicial probe and a comprehensive inquiry into the frequent incidents of fire in the last 12 days, which have taken toll of 20 lives,” said Nirupam. Nationalist Congress Party city president, Sachin Ahir said, “Maharashtra government and BMC made tall promises for fire safety but have failed. They seem to take lives of Mumbaikars for granted.”