1 dead,24 injured in panic after fire in Bandra

One person died and around 24 were injured in the panic stampede after a huge fire broke out in the Maharashtra Nagar No. 1 slums at Bandra station on Monday.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 10, 2009 2:12 am

About 40 hutments and establishment gutted in the fire,suspected to have been caused by a gas explosion

One person died and around 24 were injured in the panic stampede after a huge fire broke out in the Maharashtra Nagar No. 1 slums at Bandra station on Monday.

About 40 hutments and establishment were gutted in the fire suspected to have been caused by an LPG explosion.

Syed Mohammad Rehan (31) died due to a heart attack when he panicked during the fire. “All the injuries were due to panic and stampede. Out of 25 injuries,there is only one person who has minor burns. Because of the explosion,people ran to save their lives and this resulted in a panic situation,” Chief Fire Officer P Karguppikar said.

The units in the slums outside Bandra railway station (west) and S V road caught fire after noon and spread to the closely-packed hutments. The fire brigade sent 12 fire engines along with seven water tankers and one ambulance to the spot and got the situation under control within two hours of it arrival.

Most of the hutments at the spot were residential though there were few galas and small shops too. The fire officials said they were still investigating reason being the fire. “We have not been able to find the cause and the location of the fire. But there was an LPG explosion and the flames caught on the other hutments and establishments nearby. We are also investigating whether there was a permission to store LPG,” Karguppikar said.

However,the residents of the Maharashtra Nagar believe that a short circuit in a farsan shop triggered by possible gas cylinder blasts caused the fire. “My brothers and sisters live here so I rushed to check,” said Mansoor Qureshi,a resident of Bandra east. “I saw at least three cylinders from houses burst and I myself moved one out of the fire way. I was injured when a slab I was standing in caved in while I was helping in fire fighting. Most of the other injured also got hurt while helping in containing the fire,” he added.

Meanwhile,deceased Rehan’s family was inconsolable. His friend Abul Hasan said,“Rehan’s death has no relation to the fire. He was at the site when it happened and rushed home where he had a heart attack. At first,we rushed him to a nearby doctor who told us he was serious and would probably die before reaching Asian Heart Institute in Bandra-Kurla Complex but we went on hoping he could be saved.”

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