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Bollywood producer, wife, die in Mont Blanc fire

A Bollywood film producer and his wife were among the seven killed in the fire in South Mumbai’s Mont Blanc building near Kemps Corner. One body remains unidentified. Two of the dead were building residents and others were domestic help and workers who worked at Mont Blanc. Producer Dinesh Gandhi, 65, and his wife, Devyani Gandhi, 65, who planned to host the wedding of their son, Bunty, at Jaipur early next year, were among those who died in the fire.


Relatives of the Gandhi family at Chandanwadi. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

The two were rushed to JJ hospital but declared dead on arrival. Dinesh, who was a well-known Bollywood producer and director, was cremated last evening. Neil Nitin Mukesh and his wife were among the people who attended his funeral. Film producer Ramesh Taurani said, "This was an unfortunate incident. What saddens me more is that Dinesh was going to host his son’s wedding on January 31 in Jaipur and he was very happy about it.”

Presently, residents have evacuated the building and electricity supplies have been cut off. The residents, however, are in talks of having a structural audit done to check the extent to which the fire damaged the building. The residents are also wary about the fire brigade coming across any irregularities while checking the building plans submitted to BMC and the No Objection Certificate (NOC) granted to residents. If the fire brigade finds a fault there, it will issue a notice to the residents.

Out of the seven people who died in the fire, five people are presumed to be workers or helpers in the society. The owner of flat number 1201 is known by his last name, Bansal, and did not live in the building. The reason for the fire remains unknown. Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh visited the building on Saturday.

Ramu Deora, a resident of Mont Blanc, and brother of Murli Deora, said, “We will decide on the structural audit in a few days as we will have to move out of our houses because we cannot reside here without electricity. We are living at our relatives’ homes.”

When SUNDAY MiD DAY asked the fire officials about the building’s condition, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, PS Rahangdale, said, “The building is very much in a liveable condition, but because there is no electricity, the flats have been evacuated. All the fire equipment was in working condition. Most of the residents lost their lives because they panicked. One body was found on the 26th floor, and another one in a lift. We have to check whether the refuge area was appropriate. We will have to check previous records and see what NOC was given and residents adhered to it or not. If they have not, we will send them a notice forflouting the NOC.” 

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