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7 die of suffocation in fire at Mumbai residential building

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: October 06, 2023 18:14 IST
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Seven people, including two minors, were killed and over 40 injured after a fire swept through a residential building in Mumbai's Goregaon area in the early hours of Friday, a civic official said. Five of the injured are in a critical condition.

IMAGE: Firefighters in action after a massive fire broke out in one of the vehicles in the parking area of a seven-storey building at Goregaon West, Mumbai, October 6, 2023. Photographs: ANI Photo

Hours later, the city's fire brigade chief said the building had no firefighting system.

As many as 30 residents were rescued from the terrace and various floors of the seven-storey structure, he said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde condoled the loss of lives in the fire and announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh for the kin of each of the deceased victims.  The CM said that those injured in the fire would be treated at government expense.


The blaze started around 3 am at ’Jay Bhavani SRA building' near Azad Maidan at Unnat Nagar in Goregaon West, said an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). It had a lot of old clothes on the ground floor, they said.

A total of 68 residents were rushed to various hospitals. While 42 were admitted to the civic-run HBT Trauma Care hospital at Jogeshwari and 15 to BMC-run Cooper Hospital at Juhu, 11 were taken to three private hospitals, civic officials said.

Of these, seven including two minors and as many women died -- six at Trauma Care and one at Cooper. The condition of five others is critical. Nine took discharge against medical advice, they said.

IMAGE: Charred remains of vehicles are seen after a massive fire broke out in one of the vehicles in the parking area of a seven-storey building at Goregaon West, Mumbai, October 6, 2023.

Ravindra Ambulgekar, chief fire officer of the Mumbai Fire Brigade, told PTI, ”The Jay Bhavani SRA building in Goregaon was old and no firefighting system was available there.”

According to Sudhakar Pujarey, an officer bearer of the housing society, they have two wings -- a Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) building and a saleable portion. The fire erupted in the SRA building, he said.

BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said not a single death was due to burns. All the deaths occurred due to suffocation, he told media-persons.

Before firefighters arrived at the scene, the blaze had spread across the ground floor and started rising. It completely gutted the old clothes, shops and two-wheelers on the ground floor, said fire officials.

It took nearly four hours for the fire brigade to extinguish the blaze. More than eight fire engines and other firefighting equipment were used in the operation, a fire official said.

Chahal said some people from a particular community were rehabilitated in the building. They primarily deal in old clothes. They had stored old clothes in the parking area of the building, he said.

”After the fire broke out, it spread faster because of it (clothes),” Chahal said.

The BMC chief said the fire erupted at 3.01 am and the fire engines reached the spot by 3.10 am. Initially, the fire had spread up to the second floor.

Among the injured are two kids from a family and they have suffered up to nine per cent burns. ”If plastic surgery is done, the kids won't have to live with the trauma for life. Hence we are shifting them to Kasturba Hospital, where we have specialised treatment of plastic surgery,” Chahal said.

Apart from announcing ex gratia for the deceased victims, CM Shinde wrote on X that he had instructed Mumbai city guardian minister Deepak Kesarkar and suburban district guardian minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha to visit the site of the blaze.

”The incident is unfortunate and I am in touch with the Mumbai civic commissioner,” said Shinde, who is in New Delhi.

IMAGE: Charred remains of a building seen after a massive fire broke out in a seven-storey building at Goregaon West, Mumbai, October 6, 2023.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed grief over the incident. ”Pained to know about loss of lives in the fire incident at #Goregaon, Mumbai. We are in touch with BMC & Mumbai Police officials & all the assistance is being provided. My deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and wishing speedy recovery to the injured ones,” he wrote on X.

Minister Lodha and Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray and many other leaders visited the fire-ravaged building.

Speaking to media-persons at the scene, Thackeray said he prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

”There should be no politics over the tragedy,” he said, adding that they are a responsible opposition.

Local MLA Vidya Thakur most of the building residents are from the ’Waghari Samaj' and they deal in old clothes. Most families have many members, she said.

Bundles of old clothes, cars and two-wheelers had been kept on the ground floor and the fire spread from there, she said and demanded a probe into the incident.

“Norms for SRA buildings should be changed as these buildings have narrow escape routes. So measures like providing a staircase from outside should be considered,” Thakur said.

Manish Chaturvedi, a resident of the neighbouring wing, said he woke up due to an acrid smell around 3 am. He went down and saw the next building on fire. 

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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