Mumbai: 84 rescued from fire-ravaged MTNL building

The Mumbai Fire Brigade, Mumbai Police and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation rescued people and a coordinated operation lasting for several hours. (PTI Photo)

Over 84 people were rescued from the MTNL telephone exchange building at the upscale Bandra area of Mumbai on Monday.

The Mumbai Fire Brigade, Mumbai Police and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation rescued people and a coordinated operation lasting for several hours.

The fire started at 3 pm in the third and fourth floor of the nine-storey building located off the S V Road, very near to the fire station, in Bandra.

"There was smoke inside and complete darkness. People were confused and restless and rushed to the terrace," said Abdul Surve, who was rescued by the MFB.  "There was smoke and it was difficult for us to breathe," said Vidyadhar Kamat, who too was inside the building.

Though investigations were in progress, short-circuit in an AC unit seems to be the cause of the fire, said school education minister and Bandra MLA Ashish Shelar.

While people working till the second floor could rush out through the stairs, people from third floor and above rushed to the terrace and sought help.

"It was completely dark, there was smoke and lifts were not working," said a woman who was rescued.

As soon as the fire broke out, the MFB rushed its snorkels and hydraulic ladders to rescue people.

The trapped people - mostly MTNL employees - were rescued in batches from the snorkels. Women and senior citizens were rescued first. People were seen waving firemen, who advised them to open the windows.

Those rescued and complained of suffocation were rushed to the Bhabha Hospital, where they were treated and allowed to go except one 25-year-old youth. His condition was described as stable.

Along with firefighters who entered the building with oxygen masks and searchlights, a robot with infra-red cameras was also deployed.

Comments (+)