Advertisement

HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Fireman dies in high-rise blaze in Mumbai

Sanjana Bhalerao & Farhan Shaikh, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 18, 2014
First Published: 12:14 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 00:50 IST(19/7/2014)

A major fire broke out on Friday in a 25-storey commercial building in a western suburb of Mumbai, officials said. One firefighter died during the rescue operation.

The incident, which started off as a routine rescue operation, soon took a dramatic turn when 33 firefighters got trapped in Lotus Business Park which houses the office of Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan, necessitating a rescue operation by the coast guard.

The building’s non-existent fire fighting system, poorly-equipped staff and an ill-planned operation resulted in the building catching fire thrice within seven hours.

The building’s glass façade meant the fire kept gathering intensity resulting in a tough task for the firefighters.

Choppers belonging to the coast guard had to be flown in to rescue the trapped firefighters. However, a delay in bringing in the choppers resulted in the death of 35-year-old firefighter, Nitin Yevleker.

The rescue operation was a disaster from the start.

“The water pipe being used to douse the fire developed some fault as the operation was in progress, making it worse for the firemen,” said a fireman.

The building boasted of very few facilities that could curtail the fire.

“Since there was no water in the tank, our firemen had to climb 22 floors with the water pipe to extinguish the blaze,” said Sanjay Deshmukh, additional municipal commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

With the situation spiralling out of control, the firemen informed the officials on the spot and the control room.

“There was no response from anyone. Many from the team were already suffering as the heat and smoke were unbearable. Our gumboots had melted in the heat,” said another fireman.

By the time the choppers finally arrived, Yevleker had passed away and most other escaped through the stairs while fighting the fire.

The BMC has blamed the building for the disaster and has threatened legal action against it for not having a proper firefighting system in place.

“We will be initiating action against the owner of the building under Maharashtra Fire Prevention Act, Disaster Management Act and Criminal Law for negligence,” said BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte.


Advertisement
more from India

35 Chinese PLA soldiers return to Chumar, sit on a hillock

Official sources said about 35 PLA men returned to Chumar in northeast Ladakh and were perched on a hillock claiming the area to be part of China while another 300 soldiers were maintaining presence close to Line of Actual Control.
Advertisement
Most Popular
Advertisement
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved