Electrocuted man sparks fire at garments factory

A clothes manufacturing factory at Naik Nagar near Sion station was reduced to cinders yesterday. According to eyewitnesses, an unidentified man had climbed up the electric pole coming in close proximity with the electric cables that charred him to death. The force of the current passing through the cables was so strong that the man was thrown into the unit and the cable came into contact with the roof that eventually led to the fire in the factory.  

All lost: Fire brigade officials sift through the burnt remains of the 
clothes-manufacturing unit at Sion to salvage anything that is possible. 
Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The Dharavi police, who are investigating the fire, are trying to figure out the purpose of the man atop the electric pole. Nabi Mohammed, the owner of the factory, said, "Around 2 pm, When I woke up, an electric shock ran through my right hand. However, that was not the only shock I received, as I noticed a charred body next to me and my factory worth Rs 4 lakh was up in flames," he said adding, "I called out to my workers to vacate the factory. However, a worker Kamlesh Singh and me sustained burns." 

The two were rushed to Sion hospital to treat their 10 per cent burns and were discharged. The unidentified man was declared dead on arrival. Senior police inspector Ashok Surve, Dharavi police station, said, "The body of the man was burnt beyond recognition and we were unable to recover any proof of identification. 

We have asked the factory owner to check whether all his workers are present." He added that they were still unsure why the man had chosen to climb and come in such close contact with the overhead wire. "He received a shock and fell. Also, the wire itself sagged below and came in contact with the roof causing the fire."

Meanwhile, Tata Power is also investigating the incident. "There was an unfortunate incident wherein a person came close to the Trombay-Dharavi line above a hutment resulting in his electrocution," said a spokesperson from the Tata power. 

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