Andheri tower blaze: Hoax call about trapped girl delayed rescue operations

Jul 19, 2014, 07:05 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

After the control room received the first emergency call around 9.45 am about the fire at Lotus Business Park, the incident soon diverted all the city’s emergency services to Andheri.

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However, fire officials claim that the fire could have been brought under control much sooner had they not received a hoax call.

According to officials, they received a call from the control room, as they were about the reach the building, informing them that a girl was stuck in an elevator on the thirteenth floor. After receiving the false information, fire officials got busy trying to find the girl and sent a team to look for her inside the building. But, when they reached the thirteenth floor and managed to open the elevator doors, they did not find anyone inside.

Fire at Andheri's Lotus Business Park
Wild-goose chase: Fire officials claim that the call about the girl stuck in the elevator wasted a lot of their time, which could have been used for dousing the fire. Pic/Suresh KK

Officials said that after reaching the spot around 10 am, their first priority was to save the girl. This process of looking for her wasted precious time, which could have been better used for the dousing operation. One fireman died in the fire and several people were injured.

The firemen later found out that the girl they were looking for was already downstairs and out of danger.

Also read: One fireman killed, 20 injured in Andheri corporate tower blaze

“We received a hoax call about a girl stuck in the elevator, which wasted a lot of our time. We have informed the police and asked them to investigate the source of the call,” said Deputy Chief Fire Officer, S H Nesarikar.

9.45 am: The time at which the control room received the first emergency call about the fire at Lotus Business Park

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