Wooden logs spread across the godown, trucks on the premises and the absence of fire extinguishers ensured the blaze at the warehouse in Bhiwandi, which could have been a minor mishap, claimed eight lives.
According to sources, fire safety norms are blatantly violated in the area, which houses several such warehouses, and has witnessed major blazes in the past too.
In fact, the Bhiwandi warehouse, too, three trucks parked on its premises, along with wooden logs, metal plates and nails spread across the area.
While the traders are unwilling to take steps for safety of workers, the authorities, too, fail to take stringent action against negligence.
“The traders store metals, clothes, wooden logs and scraps without taking any precaution. The fire officials and the local authorities have not acted against them for flouting the laws,” said sub-inspector Digambar Zingale.
The warehouses come under the jurisdiction of the Bhiwandi-Nizampur Corporation. Despite repeated attempts commissioner Jeevan Sonawane refused to comment on the alleged lax attitude of the civic body towards the problem.
The Madvi compound in Bhiwandi, where the incident took place, did not even have a fire extinguisher. Sources claim none of the godowns in the area have fire safety equipment.
Vaishali Lambhate, tehsildar, Bhiwandi, said, “The fire department should check whether the fire safety norms are being followed at regular intervals. We will hold a meeting with the fire officials on the issue. We want them to take strict action to avoid such incidents in the future.”