There was chaos at Siddharth college, Fort, on Saturday afternoon when an underground electric cable of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking was found burning outside Anand Bhavan, the economics and commerce wing of the college.
No injuries have been reported.
Siddharth college has two buildings, Buddha Bhavan, which houses the arts and sciences departments, and Anand Bhavan, located over 100 away, where the commerce, economics and law sections are housed.
The Mumbai Fire Brigade, which was initially informed that there was a gas pipeline leakage in the college canteen area, evacuated all students from the college premises. Later, however, after Mahanagar Gas officials reached the spot to carry out repairs on the alleged leaking pipeline, it was found that the smell of gas leaking was actually caused by the odour of a burning cable.
“We received a distress call of a gas leak in the area. We immediately undertook preventive evacuation of students from the college as gas leakage is a serious threat for major fires and rescue operations. On further probe, however, it was found that the smell was fueled by a burning electric cable. This was immediately put out,” said Deputy Chief Fire Officer P S Rahangdale.
U M Mhaske, in-charge principal of Siddharth College of Commerce and Economics, said the gas leak in the college canteen was a rumour. “There was a short circuit outside college. But since a little smoke and foul smell spread inside the college, we evacuated the college as a precautionary measure. We would not like to comment on this issue further as it never happened inside the college.”
On Saturday evening, BEST released a statement on the incident which said the smoke and smell was caused due to an electricity distributor fault near the building. “Around 3 pm, there was smoke at the entrance of Siddharth college due to a distributor fault. Electricity supply was later restored at 5.30 pm by giving connection through an auxiliary distributor pillar,” the statement read.