Kurla hotel fire: Victims had inhaled toxic fumes

Forensic team confirms cause of death as shock due to 95-100% of superficial to deep thermal burns; choked respiratory system led to spontaneous death

The forensic surgeon team of Dr Shivaji Kachare and Dr Prasad Bhatanglikar that conducted autopsies on the eight victims of Friday’s Kurla restaurant fire, confirmed the cause of death as shock due to 95-100 per cent of superficial to deep thermal burns. The inhalation of toxic fumes led to spontaneous death.

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Relatives of the victims of the fire at City Kinara restaurant on Friday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Relatives of the victims of the fire at City Kinara restaurant on Friday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

The bodies of Sharjeel Shaikh, Akash Thapar, Taha Shaikh, Bryan Fernando, Sajid Chowdhri, Arvind Kanojia, Erwin D’Souza were sent to Rajawadi postmortem centre from 7.20 pm on Friday to 2 am on Saturday morning.

Autopsies went on till 10 am. A surgeon, who supervised the postmortem, said, “Apart from all the victims sustaining deep superficial to deep thermal burns — leading to sustaining 95 percent to 100 percent of burn injuries — all had inhaled toxic fumes, due to which carbon particles choked their respiratory system, and death was spontaneous.”

The surgeon added, “The toxic fumes inhaled left huge patches of carbon residues in the respiratory tracts and lungs of all the deceased. In some of the bodies, it had reached the stomach. Undigested food particles in most of the bodies indicate that they were either having their meal or had just completed the meal minutes before their death.”

The blood samples of the deceased have been preserved to reconfirm carbon monoxide poisoning. “The burned skin tissues samples will be sent for forensics analysis to identify the inflammable substance.” Teeth samples for DNA profiling, while the viscera preservations will be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Kalina.

The fire department officials prima-facie suspect that the leaked LPG gas had got accumulated near the concrete staircase. “The temperature of the mezzanine floor had gone over 2,000 degree centigrade, which left all the bodies charred,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Kurla division) Srirang Nadgauda.

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