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Sakinaka fire: 48 hrs on, 1 man still missing

By Eeshanpriya MS, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON DEC 30, 2019 12:26 AM IST

One person is still reported missing, over 48 hours after a major fire broke out at an industrial estate in Sakinaka on Friday evening. The fire brigade continued its cooling operations on Sunday as a precautionary measure after the fire was doused by 12.35pm on Saturday.

According to the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB), the industrial estate, which had godowns housing chemicals and inflammable materials, flouted several fire safety rules, and due action will be taken under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Act.

On Sunday, the fire brigade continued searching the site for the missing person — Pratap Rameshchandra Thakur, 52. On Friday night, Thakur’s family approached the Sakinaka police with a missing person’s complaint after he did not return home. According to information from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) staff working at the site, the family reported that Thakur had started work at Ashapura compound two months ago, and was on duty at the time of the fire.Two persons, Aarti Jaiswal, 25, and Piyush Pitadia, 42, were killed in Friday’s grade-4 fire.

A senior MFB official, in charge of the fire fighting operations, said, “We have prima facie found many fire safety violations. An inquiry will reveal exact details, and action will be initiated.” The civic body, too, is trying to ascertain if the godown had the licence needed to store combustible material. “The fire was aggravated owing to stored combustible material such as wooden furniture, plastic material, tires, motorcycles, cars, etc,” said the MFB official. BMC now plans to conduct a clean-up operation of all industrial and storage compounds in Sakinaka next week and will demolish the charred remains of the burnt buildings.

Manish Walaju, assistant commissioner of L Ward, said, “We will speak to the owners of the industrial estate on Monday to check what permits and licences they had to operate the godowns. Also, the entire adjoining area has hundreds of such godowns. All of these will be inspected over the next week.”

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