A massive fire ravaged a Mahim slum on Friday morning leaving six people dead and over 10 severly injured.
Fire brigade officials, till late Thursday evening were still scouring the debris fearing that there may be more burnt bodies in the slum which mysteriously went up in flames at around 5 am.
Ten fire engines and eight tankers battled for hours before bringing the blaze under control in this heavily dense ghetto of Nayanagar slums located on the fringes of Mumbai city's border.
While the municipal disaster control centre said that though the cause of the fire is not known, fire corps and civic arson investigators have initiated their inquiries to ascertain “if the fire was a sabotage”.
The ghetto, which easily has a populace over a thousand, escaped as most of the slum-dwellers work as casual labourers on various construction sites and “usually wake up early in the morning,” according to the fire brigade personnel.
However, the squatters from the fire ravaged site alleged that lives could have been saved and the extent of fire could have been less had the fire tenders and tankers been prompt.
The fire brigade control room refuted the allegations and stated that narrow labyrinthine lanes in the locality proved to be a major hindrance in moving into the core fire area.
Congress MP from the area Eknath Gaikwad, however, praised the fire brigade and said that had the fire tenders not immediately cooled off the surrounding periphery, the casualties would have been unimaginable.
The fire brigade did a fantastic job in saving the lives as well combating the fire strategically and fearlessly.
Gaikwad further told the media persons that the displaced families would be provided alternate place for residing. He also said that relief work has already been initiated and social workers were attending to the affected families who have lost their kith and kin and those who have members admitted to civic hospital with burns.