Midnight Fire in Mumbai’s Kamala Mills Compound Kills 14

Kamla Mill 1 At least 14 people were killed as per earliest reports when a massive fire engulfed a building in the Kamala Mills Compound in Mumbai's Lower Parel late on Thursday (28th December) night. The fire was discovered around 12.30am in the building on Senapati Bapat Marg, a commercial hub, police said. The fire brigade was called in and it managed to bring the fire under control by 2.45am. The injured were rushed to nearby the KEM and Sion hospital.

PM Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind were among the first to react and offered their condolences to the bereaved. The sequence of events that followed the next morning are as under:

10.50am: Prashant Sapkale, assistant commissioner of the G South ward, under which Kamala Mills falls, says the BMC will inspect all restaurants in the Kamla Mills compound, and all restaurants in other nearby mill compounds starting Friday.

10.45am: Piyush Goyal, Union minister of railways and coal, condoles deaths, says “My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families in the Kamala Mills fire. Hoping for rapid recovery of the injured.”

10.40am: CM Devendra Fadnavis says BMC Commissioner visited Kamala Mills “in the midnight itself and has taken stock of the situation. Asked him to take strong action against erring officials immediately”.

10.32am: “Disturbing to know about the loss of lives in unfortunate #KamalaMills fire incident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. Directed the BMC Commissioner to conduct an in-depth enquiry,” tweets CM Devendra Fadnavis.

10.30am: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis condoles deaths, says he has asked officials to conduct an in-depth enquiry.

10.30am: Police said the fire exit door was blocked, which caused delay in evacuation that led to the deaths.

10.22am: Police said they observed that the restaurant owners had not followed any safety norms and did not have any fire extinguishing equipment.

10.20am: Police have registered a case of death due to negligence under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and other sections include endangering life of others, causing hurt and common intention.

10.15am: “There was no time window for escape between when the fire started and when the fire brigade arrived, as the fire spread quickly,” says deputy chief fire officer.

10.12am: “There were burn injuries but most people got trapped after the makeshift furniture fell on them, and they did not have time to leave,” says deputy chief fire officer.

10.10am: R Chaudhari, deputy chief fire officer, says the fire brigade did not find any charred bodies.

10.02am: Sources say a lot of combustible material like bamboo, tarpouline and hay-covered roofs, were used on the terrace for decoration.

10.00am: Fire department sources say fire-fighting systems were not in place in the building. They say it is likely there was no fire exit in the building.

9.58am: Post-mortem examinations of all bodies have been completed, and the bodies are being handed over to their relatives, says KEM dean.

9.55am: KEM Hospital dean says they also received 12 patients with superficial minor burns. All have gone home or to other hospitals, and their condition is stable, he says.

9.50am: KEM Hospital dean Dr Avinash Supe confirms they received 14 bodies.

9.45am: A senior civic official from the disaster management department says the fire – that broke out on the fourth floor – was brought under control at 6.30am.

9.40am: Fire department officials and police continue operations.

 The fire started at 1-Above restaurant from the rooftop, after its shed ( made of bamboo and plastic) started to burn. Most of the injured were staff members of hotel London Taxi. Most of the guests tried to take protection in the bathroom and got trapped there. They didn't find way out. Most of the victims died in the bathroom area. Some of those trapped on the upper floors managed to reach the adjoining building from where the fire brigade rescued them with the help of a special ladder.

Ruling party leader in BMC, Jaswant Jadhav confirmed that 14 among the dead were women. KV Hivrale, deputy chief fire officer gave an assurance that a probe into the Kamala Mills fire incident would be initiated.

Kamla Mill 2

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