A massive fire broke out at the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL building) which is located in KC Marg, near the Bandra fire station in Bandra West, Mumbai. As the blaze intensified, the Mumbai Fire Department categorised the fire as a level-4 fire at the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) building in Bandra area on Monday afternoon
Reportedly, more than 25 fire appliance including Fire Engines, Special Hydraulic Ladders, Jumbo/water tankers, Robofire, Rescue Van, Breathing Set Vans were used to douse the fire.
Approximately 100 people were reportedly trapped on the terrace of the building. A fire brigade official said that as it is a working day, most MTNL employees were present inside the building. As per MTNL authorities, the people trapped in the building were rescued by the firefighters. Nearly, 150 officers were involved in the rescue operation. It is reported to be one of the biggest successful Fire Fighting and Rescue Operation in recent time in the country
Gross negligence was written all over the fire that broke out at Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited's (MTNL) west zone office at Bandra West. While fortunately no one was hurt, survivors spoke of how not a single fire alarm in the building was working and that they were alerted only by the screams of their colleagues, after which most took refuge on the terrace of the building
The fire department gave the incident a level IV call. According to the Standard Operating Procedure, this saw 12 fire engines, one quick response vehicle, seven water tankers, three turntable ladders, three breathing apparatus vans and the new robot vehicle were brought in. There were also 14 ambulances at the spot. It was the first incident in the city where the robot vehicle was used to help douse the blaze.
Chief Fire Officer PS Rahangdale confirmed that the fire-fighting system in the building was not in working condition. The Fire Brigade had rushed to help in the second serious fire incident in the city just a day after the blaze at Churchill Chambers that killed a person on Sunday. Its personnel were hailed by everyone at the spot, as they rescued over 80 people from the ground plus nine-storey building
A staffer from the billing department, who was on the sixth floor, realised that the lift was not working. She said, "I then took the stairs to go down but when I reached the fifth floor, thick smoke enveloped the staircase making it impossible for me to see. I immediately started going upwards, alerted a few more people on my way and stood on the terrace for almost two hours until I was rescued with a ladder." When asked if she heard a fire alarm, she said she only heard the screams of people and realised there was a fire.
Assistant Municipal Commissioner of H west ward, Sharad Ughade said, "No casualty was reported but the search operation is still going on, and 84 people were saved. We will enquire why the fire alarms weren't working. We will carry out an audit of the fire-fighting system."
About 150 officers and men were involved in the fire-fighting operation. About 160 breathing apparatus sets were used. It is one of the biggest successful fire-fighting and rescue operations in recent times in India
The heavy smoke from the fire had even reached Bandra station more than one km away. Commuters were seen covering their faces while walking on SV road. The fire engulfed the building's floors from the second to the fifth and is feared to have spread due to optical fibre cables that released a lot of smoke
While no one among those rescued was injured, a fireman sustained minor injuries and was treated at the site. "Another fireman, Sagar Datta Salve, 25, complained of suffocation and was admitted in the hospital. His condition is stable," said a Disaster Management Cell official.
There are no missing complaints but Mumbai Fire Brigade carried out a search operation. The cause of the fire is under investigation
Cooling operations at the MTNL building in suburban Bandra were underway on Tuesday. The third, fourth and fifth floors of the nine-storey building were the worst affected due to the blaze. Though the fire was brought under control on Monday, evening, the cooling operations were on to eliminate the smoke and any chances of a blaze
Chief Fire Officer PS Rahangdale said, "It was quite satisfying to see our personnel working so hard, beyond the call of duty, to save lives. Our men showed immense bravery and presence of mind while marching into the fire-hit building where the temperature was over 800 degree Celsius coupled with poisonous gases."
Asked why the robot deployed at the site did not perform as expected, PS Rahangdale said it did a"satisfactory" job. "The robot's job was quite satisfactory. Its handler did not get enough space to manoeuvre it," he added.
A massive fire broke out on July 22 (Monday) in MTNL building in Bandra, Mumbai trapping over 100 people on the terrace of the nine-storey structure. All were later rescued by fire brigade personnel in one of the biggest operations in recent times. Here's all that transpired on what can be called as 'Monday Mayhem'. All pictures/Shadab Khan, Pradeep Dhivar, Nimesh Dave
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