A major fire on the night of December 28, 2017, broke out in 1 Above Pub and Mojo's Bistro pub at the Kamala Mills compound killing 14 persons, including a young woman celebrating her birthday. More than 50 others were injured in the deadly blaze that hit the mills in Mumbai's Lower Parel.
Six fire tenders, four water tankers, an emergency ambulance tended to the flames at the Kamala Mills Compound. Two managers and relatives of the owners of 1 Above were arrested, along with the owners of Mojo's Bistro.
The roof-top restaurant, 1Above, was completely gutted in the massive blaze, and all that remained was a skeleton of the past pub.
The manager and assistant manager Of 1Above allegedly failed to warn the victims that the emergency exit was blocked. They were arrested for fleeing their post and abandoning trapped customers in the Kamala Mills blaze.
Post-mortem reports of those who died in the Kamala mill fire in Mumbai revealed that most deaths happened due to suffocation. The cause of death was confirmed by Dr Rajesh Dere of King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital.
Transmission of the TV channels ET Now, Mirror Now, Zoom and TV9 Marathi located near the accident spot were affected due to the fire.
The fire triggered outrage all over and resulted in the filing of several PILs, including one by former supercop Julio F. Rebeiro and social activists. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has launched its biggest drive against unauthorised eateries, hotels and restaurants across Mumbai, with neighbouring civic bodies in Thane and Navi Mumbai following suit.
Traumatised by the pub fire which killed 14, many Mumbaikars scaled down their planned New Year Eve celebrations. Simultaneously, social media campaigns were launched with hashtags like #MumbaiMourning# appealing to people to boycott celebrations or at least subdue them. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp were flooded with messages from celebs to commoners paying homage to the 14 victims and lashing out at the authorities.
Candle-light marches and silent processions were also organised by various organisations, including Sahas Foundation, which urged people to boycott celebrations in hotels, pubs, or restaurants, not burst crackers to welcome the New Year. Diamond trader Dharmesh Jhaveri of Vile Parle appealed to people to take part in a peace-cum-solidarity march from Parel Station to the Kamala Mills Compound in memory of the victims.
The incident triggered panic among patrons and many decided to stay away from rooftop-restaurant parties. As a result, several restaurants, resorts, hotels and other venues for New Year Eve parties reported cancellations, especially in the Lower Parel area.
On 31 December 2017, the police arrested two relatives of the absconding co-owners of 1Above pub, Kripesh Sanghavi and Jigar Sanghavi for giving them shelter while they were on the run.
The Mumbai Police in the second week of January this year, arrested Jigar Sanghvi, Kripesh Sanghvi and Abhijeet Mankar, the three pub owners of '1 Above', wanted in connection with the December 29 Kamala Mills fire.
Yug Tuli, the Nagpur-based co-owner of Mojo’s Bistro, was arrested by the Mumbai Police on January 16.
Following the blaze, a detailed report was submitted by BMC chief Ajoy Mehta to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Mehta had also initiated a detailed departmental inquiry against 12 employees. After 10 long months of enquiry, the BMC found nine of its employees guilty.
Days after the BMC bulldozed through restaurants that had encroached on open spaces or built illegal extensions and arrested several accused, things apparently went back to square one. Most of the eateries had taken over the open spaces yet again, with some of them boldly constructing new structures at the same spot.
On this day in 2017, a major fire at two restaurants at Kamala Mills Compound in Lower Parel resulted in the death of 14 people and left several injured. Now, exactly a year after the tragic accident, we look at the events that unfolded and how the authorities have reacted in the aftermath of the horrific incident
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