CM orders inquiry, civic body forms 7-member committee

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 11, 2015 01:06 IST

Taking serious note of the fire that led to the collapse of 50-year-old building Gokul Nivas at Kalbadevi on Saturday night, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a detailed inquiry.

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta has been asked to submit a report at the earliest.

Fadnavis, who was on a tour of Goa on Sunday, promised government support for families of the two fire officers who succumbed to injuries sustained during firefighting operations. Fadnavis tweeted, “I salute their fighting spirit and commitment towards serving the people.”

Soon after receiving directives from Fadnavis, the BMC formed a seven-member committee to investigate what caused the blaze. The committee will be headed by additional municipal commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee, and the report is expected to be submitted within three weeks.

The committee will try to determine the exact cause of the fire, lacunae in mobilisation of human resources, as well as long-term measures to be taken for fire safety at old buildings in crowded areas.

The committee, however, is expected to face major challenges while investigating the incident, with the building having collapsed after several LPG cylinders exploded during the fire on Saturday.

The committee as well as fire brigade officers will have to depend largely on the accounts of eyewitnesses.

Deputy chief fire officer PS Rahangdale said, “Since the structure has collapsed completely, we will try to gather information from eyewitnesses and neighbours. Under normal circumstances, our team would have visited the building to start the investigation, but in this case, that is not possible.”

Primary reports suspect the fire started from the meter box of the building. However, the exact cause of the fire is expected to be revealed during the investigation, an officer said.

Another fire officer said, “There is very little chance of finding out the exact cause and starting point of the fire, since structure has been destroyed completely.”

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