4 killed, 21 hurt in Mumbai high-rise fire

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Aug 2018 08:18:56



A FLOOR of a high-rise residential building in the posh Dadar area of Mumbai was engulfed in a fire on Wednesday, resulting in the death of four persons and injuries to 21 others, officials said. Nearly three dozen people were rescued from the 17-storey Crystal Tower building after the blaze erupted on the 12th floor, the fire department officials said.
The building does not have the mandatory Occupation Certificate granted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) but it was already occupied by about 58 flat owners, according to the civic body.

The civic body had in October 2016 issued a notice to the builder and the 58 occupants to vacate the building within seven days but it was challenged in the court and is still sub-judice, the BMC  said in a statement. The fire department again declared the building unsafe on Wednesday after the blaze and recommended disconnection of electricity and water supply.

The department has also suggested to the police to file a case of criminal negligence against those responsible for allowing the occupants to live in an unsafe building. The fire was reported at 8.32 am and was brought under control after about three hours, the fire department officials said. Some renovation work was underway on the affected floor but the exact reason for the blaze would be known only after a proper investigation, the  officials said.

“Owing to smoke and heat, the occupants on upper floors got trapped and 30 to 35 were rescued by fire brigade using special appliances and firemen donning breathing apertures from stair case of the building,” P S Rahangdale, the chief of the Fire Brigade said. Two bodies were recovered from a lift on the 12th floor, a fire brigade official said. The deceased were identified as Shubhada Shelke (62), Bablu Sheikh (36), Ashoke Sampat and Sanjeev Nair.



Brave schoolgirl’s tips ensure safety of a dozen people


AFTER a fire broke out in a Mumbai high-rise on Wednesday morning, ten-year-old Zen Sadavarte showed her presence of mind by employing safety tips she had learnt at school to ensure that her family and neighbours remained safe.

Zen stays with her parents and a brother on the 16th floor in the 17-storey Crystal Tower building at Parel in central Mumbai. A student of Class VI of Don Bosco School in suburban Matunga, Zen recalled and put to use the fire safety tips she had learnt during a school project in Class III, which ensured her family and others remained safe until the fire brigade personnel arrived.

The blaze, which broke out on the 12th floor of the posh residential building, killed four people and injured at least 16 others. Zen said she was sleeping when her parents, who spotted smoke and woke her up. “Since it was a holiday today on account of Eid, I slept a bit longer. My parents woke me up and when they opened the kitchen window, the entire flat was filled with smoke. My neighbours and a few others had gathered by the time,” she said. “I saw everybody on the floor was panicked, frustrated and disturbed due to the fire... All of us went to our neighbouring flat in search of safe place, where I asked them to be calm and not to get disturbed,” Zen told PTI. “With the help of cotton, water and cloth pieces we made purifiers and handed them over to all the people in the flat,” Zen added.

I asked everyone to keep the purifiers on their mouth. This stopped them from suffocating due to smoke and they were able to breath well, preventing inhalation of carbon dioxide,” she said. When a cotton piece is soaked in water, you can breath almost normally as carbon molecules are separated by the water. Besides, she also advised them to wash their head so that they do not panic, Zen said.

“It was a time of panic... I told my neighbours to shut the power supply, stay calm and breath easy,” she said.
“I also asked them to sit down and find a safe place. We all tried this for a few minutes. After some time, the fire brigade personnel arrived and all of us were rescued,” she said.

“I learnt all this during a project when my teacher Snehal ma’am taught me lessons of dos and don’ts in a project of disaster management during fire. I am happy that whatever I learnt in a school project was useful in saving many lives,” she said. Her father, advocate Gunaratna Sadavarte, said he was proud of his daughter as she played an important role in saving the lives.