May 28, 2019 1:23:37 am
Barely two days after the massive fire incident at Takshashila Complex that snuffed out 22 lives, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) brought home on Sunday a German fire truck with a turntable ladder that can douse blaze up to 55 metres high. The fact that the SMC fire service did not have a ladder that could reach beyond three floors was one of the reasons why the incident saw such a high casualty, including a two-and-a-half-year-old, last Friday.
The fire truck worth Rs 8.50 crore by German firm Magirus was lying at Mumbai port for a month, pending clearance and was released on Sunday, fire officials told The Indian Express Monday.
The officials rued that had this vehicle arrived a few days earlier, lives of many students could have been saved.
A training for the fire department teams of Surat on the usage of the vehicle and its apparatus was started by a company expert from Monday.
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In the fire incident of May 24, the fire officials had faced difficulty to reach the topmost floor, which had a dome-like structure, sources in the department said.
“The SMC fire department is ill-equipped. This had led to a research by the fire officials and they had found that a German company, Magirus, had been manufacturing high-tech vehicles to extinguish blaze and carry out rescue operations at high-rises. The SMC had placed an order for the vehicle in 2017. The vehicle reached the Mumbai port, along with a technical expert, around one month ago,” said a source.
Chief Fire Officer B A Pareek said a turntable ladder is best-known form of special purpose aerial apparatus used for forcible entry, ventilation, search and rescue. “It is used for gaining access to the fire, that breaks out at a height, with the help of a telescopic ladder. A large ladder is mounted on the turntable at the back of the truck chassis, allowing it to pivot at 360 degrees. The ladder can reach up to 55 m of height in only two minutes. Rescue operation and battling with the fire flames can be done simultaneously. The weight capacity of the vehicle is 275 kg and it can rescue five person at a time,” said Pareek.
He added the expert trainer of the company started a seven-day training from Monday.
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