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Was safety compromised at Make in India event? Probe begins into fire

Source: PTI
February 15, 2016 10:24 IST
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All aspects including the sabotage angle will be investigated while ascertaining the cause of the massive fire that gutted the stage during a cultural programme at the Make in India Week event in Mumbai’s Girgaum Chowpatty on Sunday night attended by many VIPs, an official said on Monday.

The fire brigade authority has begun an inquiry into the blaze.

“We will probe all aspects, including finding out if there was a sabotage angle involved,” a fire brigade official said.

No casualties were reported as the venue at the Girgaum Chowpatty area was emptied within minutes.

Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray were attending the event when fire broke out gutting the stage.

The blaze broke out of sparklers during a lavani performance on the state around 8.15 pm. Around 10,000 people were present at that time.

Calling the incident “unfortunate”, Fadnavis had said the fire was soon brought under control and the people were evacuated immediately while traffic management allowed early dispersal without any trouble.

He said a comprehensive inquiry into the incidence of fire will be conducted to ascertain the reasons.

Set designer Nitin Chandrakant Desai ruled out any flaw in sets which could have led to the blaze.

“A fire audit will ascertain reasons but I am sure it was not due to the sets,” he said.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the ambitious Make in India Week in the city exhorting global business giants to set bases in the country.

Meanwhile, Right to Information activist Anil Galgali alleged that safety was compromised at the Make In India Week cultural event.

“Mumbai Police and Fire Brigade should lodge FIR of negligence against the event organiser,” Galgali said.

However, event organiser Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd has said in a statement that prior to the event all safety checks and audits were done.

“All fire and safety norms prescribed were followed. We are grateful for the help from the Maharashtra government and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his team, who stayed at the venue right till the end to ensure the venue was evacuated and reviewed the site in detail post the fire was doused,” it said.

Image: A firefighter tries to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during the ‘Make in India’ week in Mumbai. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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