Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Chavan asks civic body to file report

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Posted: December 15, 2013 1:25 am

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has demanded a report from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on the fire that broke out on the 12th floor of Mont Blanc at Kemps Corner Friday night,on whether the structure complied with fire safety norms.

On Friday,14 fire engines,three special appliances,seven ambulances,and seven water tankers were rushed to Kemps Corner to douse the blaze.

The fire broke out on the 12h floor and later caused a LPG cylinder to burst in the flat of film financier Dinesh Gandhi. This,combined with the wind velocity,aggravated the blaze,said officials,adding that they managed to contain the fire to the 12th floor with the help of the firefighting systems at the building. Five water jets from inside the building were used to douse the fire along with two hydraulic platforms,which fought the fire externally. The fire brigade managed to rescue around 25-30 persons.

A senior state official said the preliminary report forwarded to the state government has indicated that the highrise had adequate active and passive fire safety systems in place.

The BMC has also been asked to report on whether the side and front open space norms were observed.

M V Deshmukh,director,Maharashtra Fire Services,said the presence of a sufficiently wide approach road,adequate open space and emergency exit arrangements were key to firefighting at a highrise. He,however,refused to comment on investigations in Friday’s fire.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar,however,said,“Apart from the heavy peak-hour traffic delaying our response time,there was hardly enough open space in front of the building for our fire engines to put out the blaze quickly. We will see if the building followed the norms as per thefire department’s no-objection certificate.”

The Mumbai police has also roped in forensic experts to ascertain the cause of the fire. “As the Mumbai Fire Brigade has been unable to pinpoint the cause of the fire,we have put forensic experts on the job,” Commissioner of Police Satyapal Singh said.

Deputy chief fire officer P S Rahangdale conceded that the narrow approach road with vehicles parked on both sides obstructed access to the spot.

The fire was reported on the 12th floor in a flat where repair work was underway. According to residents,the fire was triggered following a short circuit in flat 1201 and spread across the entire floor.

“It is always a challenge to fight fires in highrises,especially when the fire occurs in an intermediate portion. This is because the blaze is at a difficult height and has scope to move upwards,” Rahangdale said.

According to a source from JJ Hospital,of the four bodies they received for post-mortem,three were completely charred. “The fourth person died due to inhalation of fumes,” the official from forensic department said.

The seven injured include resident Nandini Halwasiya,who is recuperating at Breach Candy hospital and six firemen. While a firemen was admitted at Nair,five others were taken to the Airoli burns centre. The injured firemen are Mahendra Desai,Rajendra Dhande,Sandeep Kumar,Kamlakar Karnikar and Sunil Naik.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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