Eight people, including seven students of the Don Bosco Institute of Technology, died as a fire broke out at a eatery in Kurla (West) on Friday.
The incident took place around 1.30pm at Hotel City Kinara opposite Holy Cross Church. Two fire engines, one jumbo tanker and one ambulance were rushed to the spot.
“There were two gas cylinders on the first floor of the eatery, which was also used as dining areas. The gas may have leaked and spread across the eatery. We have retrieved the CCTV footage to identify the people who were present on the premises at the time of the incident,” said RD Shinde, additional commissioner of police, central region. “Eight bodies were recovered from the site and were sent to Rajawadi hospital,” said Mahesh Patil, deputy commissioner of police, zone 5.
According to the fire department, suspected gas leak on the first floor, along with a short-circuit, may have led to the fire. “The entrance to the first floor is not spacious and also did not have proper ventilation. This led to accumulation of gas,” said a civic officer. “The fire was under control by the time the fire brigade officials reached the spot,” said a fire officer.
“The eatery’s health licence was renewed recently. We have suspended the licence, till we get a report from the fire brigade,” said Prashant Sapkale, assistant municipal commissioner, L-ward (Kurla). A source from the civic body said, “The eatery had a licence only for the ground floor. The first floor was constructed illegally.”
“In 2011, when the eatery owner started work on the first floor, we had complained to the local ward office. The work was stopped for some time, but resumed later,” said local resident Nitesh Singh, who helped in the rescue operation.
Hussain Baksh, a local resident, said, “How could the eatery stock five cylinders?”
The VB Nagar police were in the process of registering an FIR at the time of going to press.