A 70-year-old woman died and at least 19 were hospitalised, two of them critical, after a fire broke out Sunday in a high-rise building near Mahalaxmi Racecourse in south Mumbai, police said. The blaze occurred in the early hours Sunday on the third floor of the 18-storey Samrat Ashoka building located on Keshavrao Khade Marg, an official said.
He said the fire possibly started in the electrical wiring inside a duct on the third floor and then spread to the wiring right up till the top floor. “At least 96 residents were stranded in their flats due to the fire and smoke. A rescue operation was launched by the Fire Brigade at 3am and 50 people from the upper floors were brought down using the staircase. Four others were saved using special devices,” the official informed.
Those rescued were rushed to a nearby hospital as they had inhaled smoke, he said. Among them, Laxmibai Koli (70) died during treatment. The official said 77 residents were discharged after treatment while 19 were still admitted.
The condition of two people, admitted in Bhatia Hospital, is critical, the official said. The blaze was brought under control at 6 am and a probe team is ascertaining its cause though initial suspicion is that it started due to a short circuit, the official said.
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