Relatives of Lata Duggal (60), who died in the fire at Presidency Tower, Ghatkopar, on Sunday, said she might not have been able to escape because of her addiction to sleeping pills.
The fire engulfed a flat inside the 15-storeyed building opposite R City Mall when Duggal was alone. Her son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons had been in Australia over the past two weeks. Police said that by the time she was carried out, she had sustained 100 per cent burn injuries and was declared dead before admission to hospital.
According to Senior Police Inspector Somnath Ghuge, of the Parksite police station, Duggal’s brother Prakash Bafna (62) said he did not suspect any foul play. “Bafna told us that Duggal was an insomniac and would often take sleeping pills.
Bafna suspected that she took the pills on Sunday afternoon too did not realise that a fire had engulfed her flat.”
“We are yet to get the investigation report from the fire brigade. Based on it, we will take further action,” added Ghuge. “Duggal was not registered with the senior citizens’ helpline.”
On Monday, the mood at Presidency Tower was one of grief as Duggal’s relatives and friends poured in to offer their condolences. “Duggal had become weak lately due to health problems, but no one imagined that she would pass away so tragically,” said Deepak Shukla, a family friend.
Bhalchandra Sawant, an office-bearer of the housing society, said Duggal’s maid Rekha [identified only by her first name] was the last person to see her alive; she left the flat at 2 pm.