Fireman Falls while Fighting Blaze at Powai Mall, Critical
A video grab of the fire at Haiko Mall; (inset) Fireman Devendra Koradkar who was injured.
Mumbai: A fire broke out at Haiko Mall at Hiranandani Gardens in Powai on Wednesday morning and left some fire brigade personnel critically injured. Fireman Devendra Koradkar was putting out the fire on the mall’s second floor when an acrylic sheet under him gave way and he fell down. No one else was injured and the fire was doused. Fire brigade officials said that a food stall inside the complex, where the fire is suspected to have started, was operating without permissions. They have asked the police to book the stall’s owner as well as the mall’s manager for negligence. Locals, who were at the mall when the fire broke out, told the police that the blaze started most likely somewhere on the first floor, above the Haiko supermarket. The fire broke out around 10am, and the mall was evacuated soon after, said an officer. After fire engines reached the spot, fire personnel entered the mall to release the pressure inside and allow ventilation so that the fire could be put out. “Koradkar was on the second floor helping a fellow fireman when he fell two floors down and sustained severe injuries,” said the officer, adding that he was immediately rushed to a hospital. Koradkar was operated on for his injuries.
Chief fire officer P S Rahangdale said: “Prima facie, it appears that the fire originated at the food stall when food was being prepared with the help of electrical appliances. The stall did not have permissions to do so. The fire spread quickly due to the carbon soot that was accumulated in the non-maintained chimney. We have got the electricity and water supply to the mall disconnected. We have also asked the police to lodge an FIR against the food stall owner and the manager of the mall”. A local said that though the fire was contained in the morning itself, people were not allowed inside the mall till late in the evening. An eatery and music store next door were also cordoned off after the incident. “There is a small restaurant and several shops selling apparel and artefacts on level one of the complex. We are not sure if all these shopping units and restaurants have individual permissions from the BMC, or if the shopping complex has a collective municipal license and fire no-objection certificate. Either way, the fire brigade must inquire if the mall has safety equipment or not,” said a Powai resident.
As Fire Rages, Seven Trapped in Building Rescued after an Hour
New Delhi: A major fire tragedy was averted when seven people, including six women and a child, were rescued from a building in southeast Delhi’s Abul Fazal Enclave on Wednesday morning. Atul Garg, chief fire officer, Delhi Fire Service, said the incident was reported at 3.22am and four fire tenders were pressed into service. All the seven trapped inside the building were rescued after an hour’s operation, he said. Though a formal incident report was yet to be compiled, a preliminary probe revealed that the probable cause of fire was a short circuit in the electricity circuit board installed on the ground floor. The flames travelled through the wires and spread to the vehicles parked by the occupants of the six storey residential building. At the time of the incident, there were three cars, four motorcycles and two Scooty’s parked all of which caught fire. As the fire spread, the occupants tried to rush out but found the staircase covered in smoke. To save themselves, the women and the child ran to the upper floor and cried for help following which locals gathered and tried to douse the flames, but to no avail.
Assistant divisional fire officer, Mahmood, who led the rescue operation, said the first fire tender reached the spot in three minutes from Sarita Vihar fire station. Another one was called from Mathura Road station. “The rescue operation started at 3.30am, by which time the smoke had already engulfed four floors. The women climbed to the fifth one to save themselves. We first started containing the fire and then moved in to rescue them,” Mahmood said. After the blaze was brought under control, the firemen used their ladders to reach the trapped victims and brought them out to safety. All the seven suffered no serious injuries and were administered first aid on the spot. However, by the time the fire was doused, all the parked vehicles and the first floor of the building were charred. The cops from the local police station were also present at the scene to support the rescue operation. They later took the statement of the victims to initiate the investigation. A team of forensic experts visited the spot and collected samples to ascertain the cause of fire.
Government to Install 10, not 4, Panic Buttons in Buses
CONFIDENCE BUILDING: The Delhi cabinet had approved the installation of CCTV cameras and panic buttons in DTC and cluster scheme buses in July 2017.
New Delhi: To make Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Cluster Scheme buses safer for women, Delhi government has planned to install 10 panic buttons in each bus, instead of four panic buttons decided earlier, sources said. “Earlier, we had decided to install four panic buttons and three CCTV camera in each bus but now it has been decided that there would be five buttons each on both sides of a bus,” a senior transport department official said. “The panic buttons and the live feed from the CCTV cameras would be linked to a central control room in the transport department office. As soon as a passenger would press a panic button, an alert would be raised at the control room and also at the DTC depot manager’s office,” he said. “In case of an emergency, police would also be alerted immediately. Two-way communication with the driver would also be possible from the control room,” he said. The official said that tenders for installation of CCTV cameras and panic buttons in buses would be issued again soon, as earlier tenders did not elicit good response.
The Delhi cabinet had approved the installation of CCTV cameras and panic buttons in buses in July 2017 but the tender for these were finally floated in November 2018. “There were only two firms that had responded to the tender. One of them had applied after the last date and was technically disqualified. That left only one bidder. That is why the tender has to be floated again,” another official said. The installation of CCTV cameras in public transport buses has been a key poll promise of the Aam Aadmi Party. In his first budget speech as finance minister for the financial year 2015-16, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had proposed installation of CCTV cameras in all DTC and cluster buses in the national capital. DTC and cluster buses are expected to get state-of-the-art internet protocol CCTV cameras and each bus will have three such cameras. Their installation and maintenance will be for five years. A screen will telecast the output from the cameras. “The moment a panic button is pressed, live streaming will start,” the official said.