The Kamala Mills fire: a look at how the events unfolded

Eateries flouted basic safety norms: cops

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Police investigations show 1 Above’s emergency exit was locked

Mumbai: Police investigating the blaze that claimed 14 lives at Kamala Mills on Thursday night have have found that basic safety precautions were not followed by the restaurants. Police have registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the three partners who own the ill-fated restaurant 1 Above.

The fire broke out at 1 Above around 12.27 a.m. on Friday and raged for nearly six hours before it could be brought under control. Eleven women and three men died in the blaze. Soon after the blaze was doused around 6.23 a.m, fire, police and civic officers entered the gutted remains of Trade House, where 1 Above was located, to conduct inquiries. Police teams were sent to KEM Hospital to record survivors’ statements.

By 10 a.m, police had established that basic safety measures were ignored by the 1 Above management. DCP (Zone VIII) Virendra Mishra said, “Fire safety precautions will be verified in the days to come. We have found that the emergency exit at 1 Above, which should have been used by the customers, was locked. This in itself is a gross violation.”

Based on preliminary findings, police booked Kripesh Sanghavi, Jigar Sanghavi and Abhijeet Mankar of Sigrid Ospitalia, which runs 1 Above. Sources said the Sanghavis were being questioned till late night. Mr. Mishra said statements had of more than 20 survivors had been recorded, and all corroborated the police’s findings.

The Fire Brigade will be submitting a report of its investigation to the police, based on which a clearer idea of fire safety precautions taken by the owners will emerge.

Police are verifying if hookahs contributed to the fire. As per law, hookahs can be served only in a designated smoking zone.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 4:49:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/eateries-flouted-basic-safety-norms-cops/article22329042.ece

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