Blaze in Mumbai pub kills 14

Kemmannu News Network, 30-12-2017 06:22:59

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Fourteen people, including 11 women, were killed and 55 injured in a fire that broke out at a fine-dining restaurant in Mumbai’s Kamala Mills compound.

Among the victims was Khusbhu Bhansali, who was celebrating her 29th birthday.

The fire broke out at ’1 Above’ and then spread to Mojo’s Bistro lounge and London Taxi Gastropub.

In the morning, the otherwise busy restaurants wore a charred look.

Several big companies, corporate offices and organisations. besides some media groups are also housed in this compound located on the busy Senapati Bapat Marg at Lower Parel.

The operations of some of the channels were affected.

Of the 55 injured, 25 are women. At present, 14 people, 8 men and six women, have been admitted to the King Edward Memorial Hospital.

The fire started past midnight when people were partying in groups in the upmarket hangouts.

The three joints were crowded as it was the Christmas-New Year week.

A few minutes after Khusbhu cut her birthday cake, the fire broke out and rapidly spread as the bamboo-tarpaulin-plastic sheet structures caught fire.

"We lost our family’s daughter on the day of her birthday," said Babulal Mehta, Khusbhu’s grandfather.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. However, several theories, like short-circuit, cigarette-butts and hookahs, are doing the rounds.

"The incident will be investigated and the guilty will be brought to book," Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said after inspecting the site.

The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), one of the biggest civic bodies of Asia, came under heavy criticism, as reports stated that the restaurants had extended their area illegally.

Among the first to notice the fire was Sharad Jadhav, an employee of a Marathi TV channel.

"We saw the fire and heard screams of people," Jadhav said, adding that the fire spread to Mojo’s.

"People were finding it difficult to come out," Jadhav said, adding that he raised an alarm and asked people to go to the emergency exit.

Mahesh Sable, a watchman, and two other colleagues were among the first people to help those who were trapped in the restaurants.

"There were about 150 to 200 people on the terrace. We ran up to clear the passage. We could help most of them. They had all gathered at the stairways. We led them out. We realised that some of the guests ran to the other said. In the meantime a part of the temporary roof that was already on fire collapsed and blocked the exit," Sable said.

Dr Sulbha Arora, who had a miraculous escape, said: "There was a stampede and someone pushed me. People were running over me even as the ceiling above me

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