Mumbai: Om Shanti Om stage gutted in RK Studio fire

Massive fire destroys dance reality show set at Raj Kapoor's 69-year-old Chembur studio. The revolving stage best remembered for the iconic number Om Shanti Om was gutted in the blaze

The fire, which broke out around 2.30 pm, gutted the entire set, including a stage, which is said to be the biggest in the country. No casualties were caused because no one was inside the set at the time of the incident. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
The fire, which broke out around 2.30 pm, gutted the entire set, including a stage, which is said to be the biggest in the country. No casualties were caused because no one was inside the set at the time of the incident. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

A major fire broke out on the sets of a dance reality show at the iconic RK Films and Studios in Chembur on Saturday afternoon, gutting a revolving stage, made popular in the 1980 thriller Karz. No casualties or injuries were reported in the incident.

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According to the Mumbai Fire Brigade, a fire broke out on the sets of Super Dancers, aired on Sony TV, around 2.30 pm. Initially, the disaster control room of the BMC received a call of a minor fire at the studio. However, soon, the fire spread rapidly, destroying almost the entire set of the show, said officials.

Seven fire engines, four water tankers and two ambulances were rushed to the spot, leading to a chock-a-block situation in the already congested Chembur area.

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The revolving stage is best remembered for the iconic number Om Shanti Om
The revolving stage is best remembered for the iconic number Om Shanti Om

A source from the set said that nobody was inside when the incident took place. "There were some inflammable materials stored on the set, which caused the fire to spread. However, we have managed to control it. There was no loss to life or injuries to anyone," said PS Rahangdale, chief fire officer.

Sources said that the fire, which was confined to a 100×80 sqft area on the ground floor structure, was brought under control at around 4.30 pm. But, the fire gutted the entire set. Cooling operations continued till late into the evening.

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While Rahangdale said that the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained, Senior Police Inspector Shashikant Mane, Govandi police, said that prima facie it appears that a short circuit led to the incident. "We have noted the incident. We will file a case based on Reliance Energy and the fire brigade's report," Mane said.

Actor Rishi Kapoor, son of legendary filmmaker Raj Kapoor who founded the studio in 1948, arrives at the spot of the mishap in Chembur on Saturday evening
Actor Rishi Kapoor, son of legendary filmmaker Raj Kapoor who founded the studio in 1948, arrives at the spot of the mishap in Chembur on Saturday evening

Meanwhile, the BMC is investigating if there was any negligence.

RK studio was founded and setup by legendary actor, filmmaker Raj Kapoor in 1948. His son, actor Rishi Kapoor later took to Twitter to share updates related to the incident. "Sad. A major fire broke out at RK Studios. We have lost the iconic Stage 1. Thankfully no casualties nor injuries. All your concerns appreciated."

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Dilip Pithwa, general secretary of Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE), said that this is the fifth fire incident in a studio, this year. "We have been fighting with studios and producers to have better safety measures. I only hope they take the issue more seriously," he said.

Film historian JP Choksey, who was close to Raj Kapoor, said, "It is unfortunate that a huge stage at the set, which also happens to be the biggest in the country, has been destroyed in the fire. The set had a revolving stage on which the famous Karz song [Om Shanti Om] was shot. Several Manmohan Desai and Yash Chopra films have also been shot at the same set. Some costumes of RK Studio were burnt in the fire."

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Journalist Chaitanya Padukone recalled attending the 60th birthday celebration of Raj Kapoor on the same stage.

With inputs by Bharti Dubey


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