Make In India blaze: Fire department blames 'negligence by organiser'

Feb 23, 2016, 08:21 IST | Tanvi Deshpande

In the interim report submitted to the BMC administration, officials said the organiser had failed to follow instructions given by the fire department before the event

It was the organiser's negligence that led to the blaze at the Make in India event at Girgaum Chowpatty, the fire department has concluded in its interim report in the matter. While this report was presented before the BMC commissioner on Monday, a final report is yet to be submitted.

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up in smoke: The fire had put an end to day two of the Make in India event, as the entire stage was engulfed in flames. PIC/SHADAB KHAN
Up in smoke: The fire had put an end to day two of the Make in India event, as the entire stage was engulfed in flames. Pic/Shadab Khan

The report states, “Negligence by the organisers was involved in the Girgaum Chowpatty fire.” This comes over a week after the fire broke out on stage on say two of the Make in India week, during a cultural event attended by CM Devendra Fadnavis, Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan and many other well-known personalities.

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After the fire broke out around 8.20 pm, people were evacuated rapidly and 14 fire engines were pressed into service. It took the fire brigade an hour to douse the flames.

A probe was ordered into the matter and BJP MLA Ashish Shelar had alleged that the fire was caused due to inflammables stored under the stage. The fire brigade will soon submit its final report on its findings to the state government and police.

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“The organisers had been asked to avoid certain things. Several things were pointed out to them before the event. They ignored the warnings,” informed a senior civic official who has seen the report. The official was referring to a letter from the fire department to the organisers, pointing out dos and don'ts for firecrackers, pyrotechnics, storage and other aspects.

It is unclear whether these lapses were on the part of the organiser, Wizcraft, or the sub-contractors, but the official said that either way, the blame lay with Wizcraft. He added that the police will decide whether it amounts to criminal negligence. Attempts made to contact Wizcraft for a response did not yield any result.

“The role of the LPG cylinders has been established. They were involved. But they were not the cause,” said deputy chief fire officer K V Hivrale, who made the report. However, he did not mention the cause.

The final report will be prepared by Chief Fire Officer P S Rahangdale, who is currently on leave. The report is likely to be submitted to the civic commissioner by Wednesday.

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