Mumbai: Hot oil singes two cooks after forklift damages sweet shop

A forklift repairing an open drain accidentally damaged the shop’s kitchen, where the victims were cooking for 35 people, near a vessel containing hot oil; cops have arrested the forklift driver

Two workers from a sweet shop in Andheri (West) sustained severe burn injuries yesterday after a wall in their shop came crashing down while they were cooking with hot oil.

The forklift was operating on a nullah (open drain), and damaged the rear end of the shop, where the kitchen is situated
The forklift was operating on a nullah (open drain), and damaged the rear end of the shop, where the kitchen is situated

The incident allegedly happened due to the negligence of a forklift operator who was working on a nullah (open drain) next to the shop.

The DN Nagar police have arrested the man who was operating the forklift. Bikaner Sweets, where the accident happened, shares its boundary wall with the nullah that was being repaired.

The injured workers were cooking for 35 people and were standing next to a vessel containing hot oil at the time of the mishap. They were rescued by the fire brigade and were rushed to Cooper Hospital.

The mishap
The incident took place around 3.30pm. Around 10-15 workers of the shop were supposedly cooking inside the kitchen, built at the back of the shop. Meanwhile, a forklift was repairing an open drain that falls right beside the boundary wall of the shop.

During its repair rounds, the forklift accidentally damaged the base of the concrete wall that was shared by the shop. Within moments, the entire back section of the shop came crashing down, especially the kitchen area, since a large part of it was standing on the same base.

Mukesh Prajapat, one of the workers who knows the victims well, said that both of them, — 26-year-old Bharat Kumar and 36-year-old Shri Chand — were standing near hot oil, and were thus unable to escape.

Prajapat said, “As soon as the incident took place, most of the workers ran outside. Two of them hid in the bathroom, which was on the opposite side of the nullah. Kumar and Chand were in the middle of the room and could not find a way out. To top it all, they were cooking for 35 people, with hot oil right beside them, some of which was sprayed on them after the section came down.”

Prajapat said that both victims hailed from Rajasthan and were staying at the back of the shop. He added, “Both of them are married and have children. They were staying inside the shop and have been working here for quite some time.”

The duo remained stuck in the debris, until the same forklift was used to pull them out. Fire brigade officials, who had reached the spot by then, rushed them to Cooper Hospital for treatment. Both of them were later shifted to Criti Care hospital. They are being treated inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Driver arrested
Speaking to mid-day, PSI Yogesh Kumar Shirsat, investigating officer from D N Nagar Police station, said, “The nullah work was being carried out by a contractor through the BMC. But, since it was the forklift driver who caused the incident, we have arrested him for causing hurt to two people due to negligence.”

Assistant commissioner of K/west ward (Andheri West) Parag Masurkar said, “We have inspected the site and our storm water drains department will conduct an enquiry into the incident.”

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