Nine members of a family, including five children, were killed in a fire in Juhu galli, Andheri west, early on Thursday morning. While eight of them died in the accident, the ninth succumbed to injuries in the hospital.
The blaze erupted in a medical store at about 6 am. The family that owned the store was staying on the first floor of the building.
Confirming the incident, spokesperson for Mumbai police, Ashok Dudhe said, “In the morning at 6 am fire broke out at Wafa medical store, Juhu galli. Medical store is at ground floor and their families were staying at first floor and second floor... Primary reason for the fire maybe short circuit. An investigation is underway.”
While five of the victims died due to suffocation from the toxic fumes, two sustained severe burns, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Disaster control said.
The injured were rushed to Cooper Hospital.
Dr Ramesh Chaturvedi, dean, Cooper Hospital, said eight members of the family, including five children, were dead. The youngest victim was a three-month-old infant.
The lone survivor, a pregnant 28-year-old Sophia Khan, has been shifted to Kasturba Medical Hospital.
Three other people – a relative of the family, a neighbour and fireman – sustained minor injuries, and were discharged after treatment.
According to police and fire brigade officials, the electric wiring and other power installations in the 120 sq ft medical store caught fire. The blaze then spread to other floors of the building in which nearly 17-18 people were staying.
“The deceased were sleeping on the floors above the medical store in the ground plus two floors chawl and could not find a passage to come out,” said P S Rahangdale, chief of the fire brigade staff of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.
He said that short-circuit was suspected to have triggered the fire, but an investigation was underway to ascertain the exact cause.
An accident death report will be filed by the DN Nagar police station, officials said. Once the fire brigade finishes its probe, the investigation will look at negligence and other angles for the cause of the fire.
(With inputs from agencies)