Mumbai: Inferno rages for five hours, brings Colaba to a standstill

 

 

 

A major fire broke out in a building in Colaba, the commercial hub of Mumbai, on Thursday. 

View pics: Fire engulfs commercial area in Colaba, Mumbai 

The blaze erupted on one of the top floors in the commercial-cum residential building situated near Regal Cinema around 4 pm, said officials of Disaster Control Department of the BMC.

The commercial-cum-residential building's occupants, including some foreigners, were swiftly evacuated, officials said.

The blaze in the building started in the first floor, they said, adding the flames were contained after almost five hours of fire fighting operation. 

"The building was immediately evacuated and no casualties were reported," said Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangadale.

"We have been able to contain the flames and not allow them to spread to adjoining buildings. The main staircase collapsed making access into the old building very difficult," he said.

Asked if the fire fighting operation was delayed due to water shortage, he said "there was some issue which was sorted out. The water tankers which had gone for refilling were delayed due to traffic."

The building houses Cafe Mondegar, an iconic restaurant in Mumbai and is close to the famous Gateway of India. The Mumbai police have cordoned off the area.

Eight fire tenders have been rushed to the spot to douse the blaze.

According to a civic official, no one was injured in the blaze. DCP Manoj Sharma, Mumbai Police have informed that two people have been rescued. "We have rescued two people from the fire," he said.

However, no casualties have been reported as occupants were quickly evacuated, they said. Ten fire tenders have been pressed into service and fire-fighting operations are underway.

Personnel from nearby police stations have also been rushed to the spot. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

According to locals, the blaze started due to a short-circuit in a hotel on the first floor of the structure.

Rahangadale, however, said the exact cause will be known only after a probe.

As many has 14 fire tenders were initially pressed into service. Four fire tenders from Naval Dockyard along with fire fighting equipment later joined the operation.

The building has several guest houses, which were occupied by foreigners. Citizens from Somalia and Ethiopia were also residing in the building.

(With Agency Inputs)

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