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Cooling operations on at fire-hit MTNL building in Mumbai

July 23, 2019 12:02 IST

IMAGE: Firefighters douse a blaze that broke out at MTNL office building at Bandra, in Mumbai, on Monday. Photograph: PTI Photo

Cooling operations are still underway at the MTNL building in suburban Bandra in Mumbai where a massive fire broke out on Monday, an official said.

The third, fourth and fifth floors of the nine-storey building were the worst affected due to the blaze, Mumbai fire brigade chief P S Rahangdale told PTI on Tuesday.

 

"Though the fire was brought under control on Monday evening, the cooling operations are still underway to ward off the smoke and eliminate any chances of a blaze," he said.

The fire broke out at the building, which houses state-run telecom company MTNL, on Monday afternoon and up to 100 people, 84 of them stranded on its terrace, were rescued in one of the biggest operations in recent times, he said.

Over two dozen machines and equipment, including fire engines, special hydraulic ladders, jumbo water tankers, robofire (a robot), rescue van and breathing set vans, were used for the rescue operation that lasted for several hours, Rahangdale said.

"It was quite satisfying to see our personnel working so hard, beyond the call of duty, to save lives. Our men showed immense bravery and presence of mind while marching into the fire-hit building where the temperature was over 800 degree Celsius coupled with poisonous gases," he said.

"I am happy to see that everything went well during the rescue operation," the official said.

Asked why the robot deployed at the site did not perform as expected, he said it did a 'satisfactory' job.

"The robot's job was quite satisfactory. Its handler did not get enough space to manoeuvre it," he added.

Monday's blaze was the latest in a series of fire incidents in the metropolis in the last few years.

There have been more than 49,000 fire incidents in Mumbai in the last one decade, killing over 600 people, the Maharashtra government said in the Assembly in November 2018.

A massive fire in two pubs located in the Kamala Mills Compound claimed 14 lives on December 29, 2017.

Besides, 12 people were killed in a blaze at a snack shop in Saki Naka-Kurla area on December 18, 2017.

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