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Major fire breaks out at Bandra high-rise

Ninth floor of HDIL building burnt; firemen save nine employees from building; 3 firemen hurt.

mumbai Updated: Nov 19, 2010 01:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

A major fire broke out at the Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) building in Bandra (East) on Thursday causing losses of several crores.

Three firemen were injured while dousing the fire.

Sixteen fire engines, six turn-table ladders and eight water tankers were rushed to the spot.

When the fire broke out at 1.30pm, most of the employees had gone out for the lunch break. "We rescued nine persons stuck on the building's sixth floor. None of them were injured," said a fire officer.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but the fire officials suspect that a spark in one of the AC units could have led to the fire. All the floors have central AC system.

The ninth floor has been completely burnt. Fire officials said the fire erupted from the second floor of the nine-storey structure and spread to the top floors.

"The fire spread from the electrical shaft and has spread from the lower level of the building to the top floor which is called 'stack effect'," Uday Tatkare, fire chief said.

The aluminum roof on the ninth floor has partly melted and partly collapsed. The seventh and the eight floors have also been partly damaged.

After two hours of dousing the fire, the rear portion on the ninth floor against erupted in flames and for 10 minutes there were no water tankers to douse the fire. Around 6pm while some men were bringing the fire on the top floor under control, a thick cloud of black smoke started billowing from the basement keeping the fire officials on their toes for over five hours.

The parked cars in the basement were removed.

A fireman said the building's outer surface is of aluminum and the windows are of plastic and that spread the fire easily.

The area was cordoned off and the traffic movement was diverted to let the fire engines and water tankers move in fast.

"So far no case has been registered. The fire department will conduct an inquiry and submit a report," said SN Chaudhary, deputy commissioner of police (zone VIII).

A HDIL press release said all their documents were safe as they have back-up. The office will function from the Kurla premises.

First Published: Nov 18, 2010 20:58 IST