Kothrud police have registered a criminal case in connection with the fire that broke out at a mattress-manufacturing unit located adjacent to an eatery which killed four persons and injured two more on Wednesday. The police have booked the owner of the plot where the unit was located, two joint owners of the unit and the welding contractor. Two of the four have been arrested.
Four migrant workers were charred to death in the fire that erupted in the shed of the mattress unit and its adjacent godown, located in the Left Bhusari Colony in Kothrud on Wednesday evening around 5.40 pm. Two more persons who received critical injuries were rescued by firefighters.
An offence under Indian Penal Code section 304 (Culpable Homicide) has been registered against the owner of the plot Motiram Asaram Ojha, owners of the mattress unit Narayan Gehlot and Nemaram Chaudhary and welding contractor Dattaram Atamaram Ghadge. The police have arrested Ojha and Ghadge and have launched a search for Chaudhary. Gehlot is in the hospital for health reasons, police said. One of the two owners of the units also owns the adjacent eatery.
Senior inspector Nitin Bhosle Patil of Kothrud police station said, “These people were running the unit in a residential area without any proper permission and no safety precautions were taken as the welding work was going. The gas cylinders for the welding were carelessly kept next to the spot where mattresses were kept. Also, they had employed unskilled labourers for work which needed skilled workers.” Bhosle Patil added that both the injured persons are out of danger.
Speaking about the response to the fire, fire brigade officials said on Thursday that though the first fire tender reached the spot within the initial six to seven minutes after the call, additional fire tenders and water tankers took more time to reach the scene due to traffic and congestion.