A major fire broke out in a shopping centre on the crowded Linking Road in Bandra on Tuesday at 10 am.
The fire broke out at a shopping complex adjacent to a KFC outlet gutting many garment and footwear shops on the ground floor and first floor of the complex. Officials confirmed that no casualty was reported in the incident.
Though the fire brigade is yet to ascertain the cause of the fire, prima facie it appears to be a short circuit that broke out on the ground floor. The crowded area includes many garment, footwear stores and is a popular shopping joint in the suburbs. An official from the disaster management unit of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said, “Casualties were averted as the shops were closed at the time of the incident.”
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The fire brigade which had sent four fire engines and three water tankers, increased the supply to eight fire engines and six water tankers, one emergency medical service vehicle and two ambulances among other required things. The fire was completely contained by 2.30 pm, however, cooling operations went on till late in the evening, officials confirmed.
Reliance energy also tweeted in the morning saying that they have cut-off electricity to the area due to the fire.
A senior fire official said, “The intensity of the fire kept rising because of the huge amount of garments, plastic, rubber and other combustible material stored on the loft in all the shops.” The officials also confirmed that the brigade noticed a lot of illegal alterations and additional to shops. Tuesday’s downpour also caused problems in the dousing operations, the official said.
Chief Fire Officer P S Rahangdale also said that the brigade averted a major disaster by spotting a nitrogen cylinder kept in one of the shops. “The cylinder could have blasted leading to a major disaster. We have begun our investigations. We have also alerted officials to not restore water and electricity to the shops till our investigations are complete,” Rahangdale said.
According to the traffic police, vehicular movement in both directions on the S V Road had been affected on Tuesday morning due to the downpour. “The stretch of the S V Road in Khar and Bandra was flooded with two feet of water. We diverted all traffic to the Linking Road,” said Vijaya Hiremath, senior inspector, Bandra traffic division.
However, once the fire erupted at 10 am, Hiremath said the diversions had to be reversed, with north-bound traffic on Linking Road shut for traffic. “It was kept open only for fire engines and ambulances,” Hiremath said.
Traffic was then routed to S V Road, but moved very slowly. “We channeled vehicles through Carter Road and Turner Road. Traffic diversions were lifted at 5.30 pm,” she said.