Four people were killed in a major fire at the Crystal Tower residential apartments near Hindmata Cinema in Mumbai’s Parel area on Wednesday, an official at the KEM hospital said.
Confirming the deaths, Avinash Supe Dean KEM hospital said, “Total 20 victims were brought to the hospital. Four are dead, one of them a woman. Other 16 patients, six of them women, are stable.”
The fire that started from the 12th floor at 8.55 am was doused by 10.15 am. The fire brigade personnel are now checking every flat for trapped people. They are breaking latches and doors to enter the flats.
Deputy Chief Fire officer R Chaudhari said, “Height and congestion proved a major challenge in fire fighting. And the building’s fire fighting system was not working, so that is a major problem in dealing with highrise fires.”
Earlier cranes were used to rescue some of those trapped on top floors people. No injuries were reported but people were taken to KEM hospital for checkups. Two of those trapped were found unconscious.
Chief fire officer P Rahangdale said, “There was a lot of smoke on the 12th floor where the fire started, and the floors above. Smoke was logged in the staircase and all exits. ”
Ten year old Zen Sadawarkar, who lives on the 16th floor and was rescued by the fire brigade said, “there was smoke everywhere, and we heard people calling out to us, so we rushed to the window. Later, the fire brigade personnel brought us down.”
The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Twenty fire tenders were rushed to the spot, the BMC disaster management officials said.
The fire was initially categorized as level 2 (medium) but later upgraded to level 4 (major).
On August 13, a level II fire had broken out at a godown in the Parel area and 12 fire tenders were rushed to douse it.
In December last year, 14 people had died in a massive fire at two rooftop pubs in Kamala Mills Compound in central Mumbai