Mumbai: Firefighters Save 86 People In MTNL Building Fire, Considered As Largest Fire Rescue Operation
The fire officials engaged in dousing the massive fire that broke out at Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited(MTNL), Mumbai on July 22, successfully rescued at least 86 people. The rescue operation, which is considered as one of the largest in the recent past involved fire officials rescuing people from the terrace of the nine-storey building located in KC Marg, Mumbai. The reason behind the fire is unknown. However, it is alleged that an airconditioning unit caused the fire.
According to several reports, there were approximately 100 people trapped in the building when the fire broke around 3 pm. The officials confirmed that there was no casualty.
Chief Fire Officer PS Rahangdale said that the fire brigade’s rescue operation was the largest one involving 170 breathing apparatus instead of the usual dozen. Praising the firefighters, he said that the firemen showed immense bravery and marched into the building where the temperature was more than 800 degree Celsius.
Around 175 firefighters and 16 fire engines were hailed to control the flame. For the first time, a Robofire was involved. Robofire is a remote-controlled vehicle fitted with firefighting equipment to tackle massive fire outbreak. He said, “The robot’s jobs was quite satisfactory. Its handler did not get enough space to manoeuvre it.” Almost all the trapped were safely taken out of the building by 5.40 pm.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) west ward, Sharad Ughade explaining the challenges faced by the firemen said that as there were no specific headcounts present in the building, firefighters had to break windows of every floor to make sure no one was trapped. Strong winds and thick smoke billowing out of the building hindered the rescue operation.
While refusing to comment on the reason behind the fire breakout, he said that the firefighting system in the building was not functional.
Currently, the cooling operations are still underway at the building.
One of the rescued women told media person that smoke from the fire had made the staircase invisible, forcing them to close the windows of their office. She said that the fire brigade people came to their office and rescued them. Soon after the accident, the Congress party took a jibe at the BJP-Sena coalition state government and alleged that corruption in the functioning of the state government had caused the fire. Congress also pointed out the last week’s building collapse in Dongri where 13 people were killed.
Earlier incidents of fire in Mumbai
Fire at MTNL building came just a day after one person died and two others were injured in a fire in a four-storey residential building. According to a report revealed by the Maharashtra government, around 49,000 fire incident took place in Mumbai over the last decade, killing over 600 people. In 2017, a massive fire in two pubs in Kamala Hills Compound claimed 14 lives. In 2017, fire at a snack shop killed 12 in Saki Naka-Kurla area.
The Logical Indian appreciates the brave firefighters who entered the fire-hit MTNL building and took prompt action in saving around 100 people, despite facing several challenges.