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

Mumbai pub fire: It took over 6 hours to control the blaze

Firemen lead rescue operations at Kamla Mills. The injured were rushed to KEM Hospital in Parel.

Firemen lead rescue operations at Kamla Mills. The injured were rushed to KEM Hospital in Parel.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

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The N.M. Joshi Marg police probing the fatal blaze at the 1 Above and Mojo’s Bistro pubs in Kamala Mills have found that even basic safety precautions were not followed and this could have played a large role in the number of fatalities. Police have registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the three owner partners of 1 Above.

The fire broke out at 1 Above at around 12.27 a.m. on Friday and raged on for nearly six hours before it could be brought under control. Eleven women, including a 28-year-old celebrating her birthday, and three men died in the blaze.

Soon after the blaze was extinguished at around 6.23 a.m, fire officials, along with police and civic officials, entered the burned remains of Trade House, where the pub was located, to conduct inquiries into the possible cause. Police teams were also sent to the KEM Hospital in Parel, where the survivors were taken for treatment and the more seriously injured were admitted, to record their statements.

Emergency exit locked

By around 10 a.m, the police’s inquiries had established that even basic measures were not taken by 1 Above to ensure the safety of patrons in case of an emergency like a fire, officers said.

“The specifics of the fire safety precautions undertaken by the establishments 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, by itself, is a gross violation,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Virendra Mishra, Zone VIII, said.

Hookah angle

Based on their preliminary findings, the police booked Ritesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Manka, directors of the C Grade Hospitality and Entertainment LLP that owns 1 Above. Sources said the Sanghvis were detained later on Friday and were being questioned till late in the night.

The police are also verifying whether the presence of hookahs contributed in any way to the fatalities or to the intensity of the blaze.

According to law, hookahs cannot be made available in the same area where food and drink are served. There has to be a separate area, like a smoking zone, for hookah.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 3:09:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/mumbai-pub-fire-it-took-over-6-hours-to-control-the-blaze/article22328382.ece

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