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Mumbai building blaze: How four lives could have been saved

The deaths at Crystal Towers have underscored the lack of awareness among Mumbaiites regarding personal safety, and the need to hold safety drills, especially in high-rises.

mumbai Updated: Aug 23, 2018 08:04 IST
Eeshanpriya M S 
Eeshanpriya M S 
Hindustan Times
Mumbai fire,Parel building fire,Crystal Towers
Fire broke out at Crystal Towers at Parel on Wednesday.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Two of the four bodies at Crystal Towers were found in the lift of the 12th floor, where the fire began on Wednesday. Two other bodies were found in the corridor leading to the building’s terrace. Could these lives have been saved if they had known that lift is the first place to avoid, and open windows, not a crowded corridor, is where one should head to keep safe during a fire?

The deaths at Crystal Towers have underscored the lack of awareness among Mumbaiites regarding personal safety, and the need to hold safety drills, especially in high-rises.

“Primary rules of personal safety during fires include abandoning lifts and using staircases during a fire, crawling on the floor in case of dense smoke, and heading to open windows, instead of congested corridors. Facing thick smoke from the fire, it is better to crawl, as smoke is heavier than air, and does not settle near the floor, said R Chaudhari, deputy chief fire officer.

During the rescue operation, fire officials found charred bodies of Ashok Sampat and Sajive Nair charred in the lift, and Shubhada Shirke and Hassan Shaikh were found dead in the corridor. They suspected people may have fallen unconscious inside their homes owing to inhalation of smoke. Kardekar said,

Sheetal Kardekar, activist and a resident of Dadar, said, “Lives need not be lost to such incidents. All citizens should know how to save themselves during a fire, or any disaster. Mock drills should be made mandatory in all buildings. When drills become mandatory, schools will teach fire safety, and BMC will take workshops. There should be a mechanism for residents to complain to the police if the society committee does not conduct workshops.”

First Published: Aug 23, 2018 01:00 IST