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Mumbai’s Kamala Mills fire: At least 14 killed, several injured in blaze; BMC begins crackdown, pub owners blamed

Mumbai's Kamala Mills fire: Most of the victims died of asphyxiation, said Avinash Supe, dean of the KEM hospital where the injured and dead were brought.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 29, 2017 9:29 pm
Kamala Mills fire Mumbai Kamala Mills fire: Following the blaze, the BMC sprung into action and ordered an inspection of other restaurants inside the compound and nearby areas.

At least 14 people were killed and 19 injured when a fire broke out at a rooftop pub hosting a birthday party and spread rapidly through the building inside the Kamala Mill compound in Lower Parel in the early hours of Friday. The fire started after 12:30 am at the ‘One Above’ pub on the terrace and quickly spread to Mojo pub on the third floor, said a BMC official. Most of the victims died of asphyxiation, said Avinash Supe, dean of the KEM hospital where the injured and dead were brought. After preliminary investigations into the cause of the fire, the Mumbai police registered a case of culpable homicide against the owner of One Above.

The two gutted pubs are located in the Trade House Building in Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel area, a popular night spot as well as commercial hub housing several offices including national television channels. A fire department official said, “The fire spread due to the carpets and wooden floors of some of these places. The fire spread rapidly in the whole building. The satellite antennae of media houses were also destroyed in the incident.” Mumbai Kamala Mills fire LIVE UPDATES

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Mumbai Police have booked Hratesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Manka of C Grade Hospitality, which manages the pub, along with others, under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others).

Mumbai's Kamala Mills fire tragedy: 28-year-old died while celebrating her birthday Mumbai Kamala Mills fire tragedy: Around 20-25 friends and family members were at her party, out of which two were trapped and lost their lives in the blaze, including Khushbu (Right).

The tragic deaths

Among the dead was Khushbu Bhansali who died an hour after ringing in her 29th birthday with her husband and family members at the One Above lounge and pub. Bhansali’s grandfather Babulal Mehta told The Indian Express, “My granddaughter was in the lounge to celebrate her birthday. Her husband had planned the party and had invited her friends too.” Around 20-25 friends and family members were at her party, out of which two were trapped and lost their lives in the blaze, including Khushbu. “Suddenly there was the sound of a blast, due to which everyone got scared and started running towards the exit. After the place caught fire, Khushbu’s husband Jayesh managed to reach downstairs safely. And Jayesh realised that his wife was missing. He rushed to One Above to check on her, but couldn’t locate her,” added her grandfather.

Kinjal Shah, who was the other member at Khushbu’s party, also lost her life due to suffocation.

Senior police inspector Ahmed Pathan from the NM Joshi Marg police station said, “We have registered an FIR and have started our investigation. We will ascertain the facts of the incident. We are also taking help from the fire department,” adding that the cause of the fire remains unclear.

Mumbai's Kamala Mills fire: In attempt to save their aunt, two US-based youngsters lose their lives Vishwa Lalani, who lost his life in Kamala Mill Compound fire

Meanwhile, two brothers were among the 14 who died. Dhairya Lalani (26) and Vishwa Lalani (23), who were on a holiday in Mumbai from the US, died in the Kamala Mill Compound fire after venturing back into the building to locate their aunt. The three were celebrating with several other friends and were at a table near the entrance of the ‘One Above’ restaurant and pub where the fire is said to have reportedly broken out and spread wildly. Fire officers located their bodies inside the washroom of the pub, along with several other bodies, including that of their aunt Pramila Kenia. Officers said the three had no burn injuries on their bodies and had apparently died of suffocation inside the washroom where several appeared to have huddled. Also Read: Trying to save aunt, two US-based brothers lose their lives

Mumbai's Kamala Mills fire: In attempt to save their aunt, two US-based youngsters lose their lives Dhairya Lalani, who lost his life in Kamala Mills Compound fire

Both brothers had arrived in Mumbai two weeks ago. Having attended a series of weddings in the family over the last few days, on Thursday night, their aunt planned a party for the two at One Above, inviting several of their friends.

CM Fadnavis promises strict action

After the tragedy, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis directed the BMC Commissioner to conduct an in-depth enquiry into the matter and  said, “Disturbing to know about the loss of lives in unfortunate Kamala Mills fire incident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. I have directed the BMC Commissioner to conduct an in-depth enquiry.”

The rooftop is completely destroyed in the fire accident. (Express Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, and several others also condoled the incident. “Anguished by the fire in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. I pray that those injured recover quickly,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said he had asked Fadnavis and the BMC commissioner to order a special fire audit of all such pubs and hooka parlours in Mumbai. “Several such establishments at the Mills compound are illegal, part of which was regularised lately. The place where the blaze took place was illegal,” he claimed.

BMC begins crackdown

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) too began a crackdown on eateries and restaurants in Kamala Mills and nearby areas. Speaking to The Indian Express, Ward officer of G Ward Prashant Sakpale said, “We have parallely started inspection of restaurants in Kamala Mills and Raghuvanshi Mills. In case of violations, we are taking immediate action.” The BMC also suspended five of its officials for gross negligence.

Also Read: BMC begins crackdown on restaurants in nearby areas

The BMC seems to have demolished parts of the Skyview Cafe, a rooftop restaurant in Oasis City of Kamala Mills, Friday afternoon after an inspection found irregularities. “There were allegations that the restaurant was violating open spaces norms. The inspection was conducted today and the prescribed action was taken,” said Sakpale.

Hema Malini’s bizarre reason for tragedy

The actor-turned-politician linked the fire tragedy with the rising population of Mumbai. “Population is so much, the city is spreading like anything. Some restrictions should be done on the population. Each city should have certain population/limit, after that they should not be allowed. Then let them go to another city,” ANI quoted Hema Malini as saying while responding to the fire tragedy.

Her response came even as police and civic officials of Mumbai blamed the pub owners for the tragedy. According to them, the pub in which the fire broke out did not follow fire safety norms and violated regulations on encroachment with obstructions blocking its emergency exit. In its daily crime report, the police also said the pub’s manager and other staff fled from the spot instead of helping the customers injured in the blaze.

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  1. Mohit Grover
    Dec 29, 2017 at 10:01 pm
    Fadnavis Govt is Hindutva Govt. they dont want the youth of Mumbai to enjoy partying! They hate the concept of youth enjoying and they HATE partying. This conspiracy of FIRE and unfortunate deaths and injury of youth, was planned! has been created for the Regressive Hindutva Govt to stop the Youth from Partying!..They actually hate to see the sight of youth enjoying! They want to make the youth SLAVES! and they hate the youth's freedom! Now they will make an excuse of SAFETY and crackdown on clubs in Mumbai, and do the sick moral policing that they are so well adept in doing!...The Fadnavis Govt is an Anti-Youth Govt, period!
    1. Anand Mishra
      Dec 29, 2017 at 8:49 pm
      Mumbai becoming city of death....time to kick out shiv sena....their only agenda to abuse PM... stead...they should have focussed on governance....
      1. Mohit Grover
        Dec 29, 2017 at 7:44 pm
        Kamala Mills Compound is great place for youth to party and have a good time from the rubbish mindless traffic and work blues of everyday Mumbai. And this was becoming a problem for the Phd in Moral Policing - BMC and Cops. Hence this fire has happened so that they can target Kamala Mills and all the vibrant and thriving nightlife of Mumbai, and hence this FIRE was planted to bring disrepute to Kamala Mills and stop youth of Mumbai from enjoying, and also making bribe money from harassing pubs and restaurants to shut down early and get HUGE bribe monies from pub owners! But the youth of Mumbai will REVOLT if the nightlife and their freedom is curbed by the Phd in Moral policing - BMC and Cops!..And State Govt will be b ed as ANTI-YOUTH if they start going against the freedom of the youth! Aditya Thackeray, supposedly a 'YOUTH' leader should know better than attack the nightlife and the youth of city of Mumbai!
        1. Mohit Grover
          Dec 29, 2017 at 7:17 pm
          This is a regular method of the BMC and Cops of Mumbai to invent a FIRE in the establishment - pub or restaurant, and then 'crackdown' on pubs, clubs and restaurants and get regular 'hafta' from them to keep the establishment open for the pub owners, who has NO CHOICE but to pay the HAFTA!..This is also another scheme for MORAL POLICING by the EXPERTS in MORAL POLICING and nothing else!) in this WORLD - BMC and Mumbai Cops!..They will now declare that 31st Dec should not be celebrated throughout the night, for SAFETY of the citizens!..ha haa!...the only people the people of Mumbai have to be scared off are the BMC and Cops, because they are the ones that harass normal citizens for no reason whatsoever for bribes!..But the people of Mumbai are NOT fools to not recognize their ploy! The people of Mumbai who behave the BEST in this world, will not allow moral policing and harassment, from state authorities
          1. Mohit Grover
            Dec 29, 2017 at 7:07 pm
            This is a tried and tested ploy of first creating a 'fire' and invoking anger from the people and then everyone blaming the authorities for negligence, The authorities who created this fire, then 'clean up' their act, by harassing establishment owners for bribe money, and for keeping the place open. And the timing is perfect for the moral policing that BMC and Mumbai Cops of Mumbai have done Phd in!..Now they will suddenly declare that New Year's Eve should not be celebrated whole night, for 'SAFETY'. But the people of Mumbai are NOT fools and the BMC and Cops cannot stop the party capital of this country - Mumbai from not celebrating 31st Dec to the fullest! These is a regular method of the corrupt greedy BMC and Cops of Mumbai to instill fear through methods of fire. They have done these things in through decades in Mumbai by setting the hutments on fire, to evacuate the place those poor slum dwellers have spent their whole lifetime and given that land to the Builder Mafia
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