NIC man sustains fracture as he helps in evacuation

As news of the fire reached him, Suresh Sura quickly joined the stream of evacuees on the packed staircases of the Mantralaya here.

“There was no panic, but there was smoke and there was a huge rush. It took me 15 minutes to climb down [four flights of stairs],” Suresh Sura, who sustained a fracture while helping in the evacuation told The Hindu at St. George’s Hospital here on Thursday.

Mr. Sura, 28, from the National Informatics Centre had been waiting at office of the Principal Secretary (Revenue) Pravin Pardeshi to make a presentation on e-filing. “It was around 2.30 p.m. We were discussing when we heard the news of the fire. I don’t remember hearing the alarm, but people all over were telling us to clear out.”

On reaching the ground “I could see fire brigade officials trying to evacuate people. They were trying to prop up a ladder. I helped them with the ladder and other sundry activities. I was also helping them move out people on a stretcher. That’s when one stretcher slipped and I suffered a hairline fracture,” Mr. Sura said.

The 16 injured people were taken to St. George’s, GT and JJ hospitals.

Seven people were admitted to St. George’s Hospital. Hemant Kahire from the Maharashtra Secretariat’s Publicity Department, who was seriously injured, was shifted to the critical care unit of JJ Hospital. “He had inhalation injury, but he is conscious and put on respiratory support,” said D.R. Kulkarni, medical superintendent at St. George’s.

Two other patients had minor burns in the hand, face and back. Among the injured was Ali Ibrahim, 82, who had slight burns in the back.

Four security personnel deputed outside Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s office suffered suffocation injuries. They were taken to JJ Hospital.

“As soon as there was a short circuit, smoke started spreading fast,” said police naik D.A.Wholemukhe. “Panic struck later, but by then 90 per cent of the building had been evacuated. No one thought the fire would be this big.”

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