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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Mumbai fire kills 4: Building’s fire- fighting system was not working

The height of the building and congestion proved a major challenge in firefighting. The building’s firefighting system was not working, said deputy chief fire officer R Chaudhari .

mumbai Updated: Aug 22, 2018 13:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Firemen inside the Crystal Tower residential apartment in Mumbai’s Parel that caught fire on Wednesday.
Firemen inside the Crystal Tower residential apartment in Mumbai’s Parel that caught fire on Wednesday.(Photo courtsey Fire department)
         

Dysfunctional firefighting system and congestion in the residential building in central Mumbai, where four people were killed after a fire, hindered rescue operations, seniors officials of the city’s fire department said on Wednesday.

The fire started from the 12th floor of Crystal Tower near Hindmata Cinema in Parel at 8.55am and was doused by 10.15am. Officials said the smoke from the raging fire spread rapidly and residents were trapped on the building’s staircases.

“The height (of the building) and congestion proved a major challenge in firefighting. And then the building’s firefighting system was not working, so that was a major problem in dealing with the highrise fire,” deputy chief fire officer R Chaudhari said.

Many residents, who were trapped in the top floor of Crystal Tower, were evacuated using a crane and fire brigade personnel had to break open latches and doors to enter the flats to complete their search.

“The fire brigade has declared the building unsafe and an offence will be registered against it for negligence toward fire safety,” chief fire officer P Rahangdale said.

The department has said in the past that most housing societies in the city lack basic fire-fighting equipment and fire extinguishers and many buildings don’t even have escape routes meant to be used in case of a fire or emergency.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) formed 34 special fire compliance cells to inspect Mumbai’s approximately three lakh buildings for fire safety after 14 people were killed in the blaze at two restaurants at Kamala Mills in December 2017.

The cells found that nearly half of the 3,151 buildings it checked were not fire-safe or sufficiently equipped to fight a blaze.

According to data obtained through Right to Information (RTI) by activist Shakeel Ahmad Shaikh, 25,710 fires, from minor ones (Level 0) to major ones (Level 4), have been reported until May this year in Mumbai.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 12:54 IST

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