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Mantralaya fire: Foreign experts' help to be sought for data recovery

india Updated: Jun 22, 2012 14:11 IST

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Maharashtra Government will seek help from IT body Nasscom, cyber cell and even foreign experts to recover data from computer hard disks damaged in the fire which gutted top floors of Mantralaya.

The announcement was made by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan after a meeting of the state cabinet held at Vidhan Bhawan to review the mishap. "We will try to restore hard disks and recover data from them. We will seek help of Nasscom, cyber cell and even foreign experts," Chavan said.

All files pertaining to the Adarsh scam have been handed over to CBI, so there was no question of it affecting the probe, he said. Over 2.27 lakh files have been scanned, he said.

There may have been lacunae in fire safety systems, we will look into it, he said. Mantralaya will be out of bounds till the structural safety audit is complete, Chavan said.

The ministers have been asked to cancel their tours and supervise work of restoring documents in their office, he said.

Two more bodies were on Friday recovered from the fire-ravaged Maharashtra government secretariat taking the death toll to five even as Mumbai Police registered a case of accidental death in the incident.

Though the fire, which broke out on Thursday, was doused early Friday, fire brigade officer SV Joshi said the cooling operation will continue for the next two days.

Fire brigade personnel combing the sixth floor of the building on Friday recovered two bodies.

"Since yesterday, three bodies have already arrived at the hospital," JJ Hospital dean Dr TP Lahane told PTI.

"We have been asked to send in ambulance to bring two more bodies," he said.

The condition of state government's publicity department official Hemant Khaire is critical and he would remain at the JJ hospital for the next few days, Lahane said.

The other injured will be discharged on Friday, he added.

A special meeting of Maharashtra cabinet is underway to review the situation in the aftermath of the fire.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who has announced a crime branch probe into the incident, is chairing the meeting being held at Vidhan Bhawan.

Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar visited Mantralaya this morning and reviewed the work in progress to cool off the seven-storeyed building.

Pawar told reporters that the chief minister's office on the sixth floor has remained comparatively unscathed by the fire which had gutted nearby offices.

A large number of files were also destroyed, including that of Urban Development department which is embroiled in the Adarsh housing scam involving several top politicians, bureaucrats and ex-army officials, raising questions on whether any sabotage was the cause.

The injured persons have been admitted to various hospitals, including 11 at JJ and St George, 3 at G T and 2 at Nair hospital.

Some of them have suffered suffocation, while others have sustained minor injuries on their hands and legs, Lahane said.