Sheer bad luck, says Rakesh Roshan on the fire at Andheri's Lotus Business Park
The Roshans are among many from the film industry, who own offices in the Lotus Business Park
With a blaze in a plush commercial building in Andheri (West) leading to the death of a fireman, questions are being raised over how safe highrises are. Many from the film industry, who own offices in the Lotus Business Park in Andheri (West), are shocked that firemen couldn’t reach beyond the 17th floor initially. The fire brigade finally managed to reach the top floors only with the help of a new snorkel that was brought in.
Producer-director Rakesh Roshan and his actor son Hrithik own five floors of the building — 4, 5, 15, 16 and 17. The filmmaker said he had bought the floors as an investment. “Thankfully, all of them were vacant. I really don’t know how much has been damaged in the fire, as the blaze was on the 21st floor and then it spread to another floor. All I can say is that it’s sheer bad luck.”
Hrithik Roshan stands below the Lotus Business Park in Andheri, where he and his father own five floors. Pic/PTI
Pooja Shetty, the daughter of director Manmohan Shetty, has her production house, Walkwater, on the 9th floor. She told mid-day, “No one from my office got trapped; besides, we called each and every employee to know how and where they were. The glass panes have been flying off from the building. I hope people stay away from there till everything is under control.”
Both, however, were apprehensive as to how safe skyscrapers actually are, and how many were following fire safety norms. “We buy properties in these tall buildings and now I am feeling stupid about doing so,” Shetty said. Roshan added, “This are just 22 floors in this building and there are a number of taller buildings in the city. I wonder what will happen to them if something similar happens.”
The building used to house a television channel, and currently has an animation studio on its 8th floor. A top corporate house also owns space in it.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, whose office is in the adjacent building, feels the firemen did an amazing job despite the constraints they had.
“Imagine, this happened in the most equipped building in the area. For me, safety is a non-negotiable issue and we need to work collectively instead of blaming the system. We need to correct it and it will happen only when we are touched by it. There is a need for preparation for disaster management. I am definitely planning mock drills to create awareness. I won’t forget this incident after a few days,” he told mid-day.
11,000sq ft: Area of each floor