A major fire has broken out at telephone exchange building in Bandra in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Around 100 people are feared trapped.
The incident happened around 3.10 p.m. at MTNL building on Bandra West’s S.V. Road. The fire is confined to the third and fourth floor in the nine-storey building.
Robot used in firefighting; 30 still trapped on the terrace
Fire brigade personnel deploy a robot for the first time during firefighting operations in Mumbai on Monday. Fourteen fire engines and other equipment, including a robot van and an ambulance, is engaged in firefighting, he said.
According to latest reports, around 30-35 people are still trapped on the building terrace, and efforts to rescue them are on.
Two fire brigade personnel, who were exposed to the smoke billowing out of the building, were shifted to nearby hospital for treatment.
‘More than 60 rescued’
More than 60 rescued so far, according to fire brigade officials.
Fire brigade personnel have deployed an aerial ladder to rescue many from the building. Two personnel, who were exposed to the smoke billowing out of the building, were shifted to nearby hospital for treatment.
Fire is confined to the third and fourth floors, an official said. All those on the terrace are safe and will be rescued soon, he added.
There is no clear picture yet about those on the third and fourth floors, he said.
“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.
The total number of people evacuated have gone up to 22. There are no reports of casualties. As many as 175 firemen and fire officers are currently on site, reports our correspondent Tanvi Deshpande.
15 people evacuated
At least 15 people have been evacuated safely from the fire.
As it is a working day, many persons, mostly MTNL employees, were present inside the building, a civic official said. Fourteen fire engines and other equipment, including a robot van and an ambulance, is engaged in fire fighting, he added.
Fire fighting and rescue operations is in progress and efforts to rescue people stranded on upper floors and terrace of the building are on, the official said.
Visuals on TV channels showed smoke billowing from the building and people on the terrace trying to signal those below. There are no reports yet of anyone being injured in the incident.
Mumbai police took to Twitter to confirm the fire, but did not give any information on those trapped.
“An incident of fire is reported at Telephone Exchange, Near Sanjeri Bldg, S.V. Road, Bandra (W). Police Station Staff and Fire Brigade Staff are on the spot for further help and assistance,” police wrote on Twitter.
The fire was initially categorised as level II (minor) but has escalated to level IV (major).
Fourteen fire engines, four jumbo tankers, one firefighting robot has been mobilised. According to disaster control, about 100 people are suspected trapped on the higher floors.
(With inputs from PTI)
Bandra blaze live updates: More than 60 rescued so far, says fire brigade – The Hindu