After Fire at MTNL, BSNL Buildings, Ravi Shankar Orders Probe

Approximately 100 people, who were trapped in the MTNL building, were rescued by fire brigade personnel in Mumbai.

Updated23 Jul 2019, 10:21 AM IST
3 min read

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday, 23 July, ordered a high-level inquiry by BSNL and MTNL in connection with the fire that broke out in both their buildings a day before.

Shankar has ordered BSNL and MTNL to conduct a fresh ‘Fire and Safety’ audit of each of their buildings in a time bound manner.

Two major fire incidents occurred at MTNL Bandra Telephone Exchange in Mumbai, and at a BSNL building at Salt lake in Kolkata on Monday, 22 July.

Approximately 100 people, who were trapped in the MTNL building which caught fire in Mumbai, have been rescued by fire brigade personnel, the BMC Twitter handle said on Monday, 22 July. They were asked to reach the roof in order for the rescue operation to be carried out and a headcount was taken as well, the BMC added.

A Level-4 fire had broken out at the MTNL exchange building in Mumbai’s suburban Bandra on Monday, 22 July.

Fire brigade personnel had entered the building with oxygen masks and searchlights to rescue people who might be trapped on some floors, an official said. Two fire brigade personnel, who were exposed to the smoke billowing out of the building, were shifted to nearby hospital for treatment.

No Injuries Reported

Mumbai Fire Brigade's chief fire officer (CFO) Prabhat Rahangdale said that the rescue operation was one of the most successful missions of India in recent times.

“Till now all head count is being done and as per MTNL authorities no missing persons till now still with fire fighting , search operation is on. More than 25 fire appliance which includes fire engines, special hydraulic ladders , jumbo water tankers, Robofire, rescue vans , breathing set vans were used . About 150 officers and men were involved in operation. About 160 Breathing Apparatus Sets were used. About 90-100 people were rescued. It is one of the biggest successful Fire Fighting and Rescue Operation in recent time in India,” Rahangdale said.

In the nine-floor building, the fire was confined mainly to the third and the fourth floors, an official said, according to PTI reports.

Pictures and videos of the incident showed people on the terrace of the building, waiting to be rescued.

The first call of the fire was received at 3:08 pm, following which fire tenders arrived at the spot at 3:15 pm. The fire was declared level 3 at 3:45 pm, which was then subsequently elevated to level 4.

“Staircase Partially Invisible Due to Heavy Smoke”

“We came down from the fifth floor via lift. We saw fire brigade personnel bringing out some people from a smoke-filled floor,” a woman said.

Another woman, who also managed to come out of the building, said,"When we came to know of the fire, we searched for the staircase, which had become partially invisible due to heavy smoke."

"We had closed the windows and doors of our office... Fire brigade people came and rescued us," she said. There were still six to seven persons on the floor from where she was rescued, she added, according to PTI.

A woman who was rescued using the aerial ladder, was seen shooting the scene around her with her mobile phone even as she was being lowered to the ground.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)

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Published: 22 Jul 2019, 11:02 AM IST
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