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'Fire breaks out at Mumbai's Taj hotel'

india Updated: Dec 09, 2008 11:35 IST
AFP
Fire breaks out at Mumbai's Taj hotel: officials

Fire broke out early on Tuesday on the 20th floor of Mumbai's historic Taj Mahal hotel, one of the sites stormed by Islamist militants two weeks ago, officials said.

The hotel on Mumbai's waterfront esplanade has been closed since the attacks began on the evening of November 26, bringing the city to a standstill for 60 hours.

The officials did not say what had caused the fire at the hotel, which suffered extensive damage in the attacks. The blaze had been brought under control, a fire official told AFP.

"There were no casualties and we are assessing the cause and damage to property," he said.

The hotel was the scene of three nights of fierce fighting between Indian commandos and the militants who seized it in a raid during a spate of attacks across the city that killed 163 civilians and security personnel.

During the siege, sporadic fires broke out throughout the 565-room hotel as the heavily-armed extremists fought gunbattles with security forces.

The hotel is owned by the Taj Group, whose chairman, Ratan Tata, has pledged to "rebuild and restore every inch of the hotel to its original glory."

Tata's great-grandfather, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, commissioned the Taj hotel, which opened in 1903.

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