14 people killed and 21 injured as birthday bash turns into tragedy

Vastavam web: A fire that started at a rooftop pub hosting a birthday party spread rapidly through the building, killing 14 people, most of them women, shortly after midnight in a posh Mumbai locality, officials said today.The fire, which also injured 21 people, started after 12.30 am in the “1 Above” pub on the terrace, and spread to Mojo pub on the third floor one level below, said an official of the Mumbai civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.The two gutted pubs are located in the Trade House Building in Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel area, a popular night spot as well as commercial hub housing several offices including national television channels.

“I was in the night shift. We heard people screaming at the pub. Initially, we thought it is due to the party which was underway there,” said Sanjay Jadhav, a programme producer of a news channel.”When I came out of my office, I saw that a fire has broken out at the roof top pub. The main entrance of our office was blocked due to the flames,” he said.”There was a stampede and someone pushed me. People were running over me even as the ceiling above me was collapsing in flames,” she said separately in a tweet. “Still don’t know how I got out alive.”

Teams of fire brigade and police rushed to the spot and 35 injured people were pulled out from inside the pub and taken to hospital, a police official said.Police have booked Hratesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Manka of C Grade Hospitality, which manages the pub, along with others, under various charges including cuplable homicide not amounting to murder.Several media outlets, including TV news channels Times Now, ET Now and TV9 Marathi, have offices in the complex.

There have been allegations that civic authorities have turned a blind eye to construction irregularities and violation of fire safety norms in the compound.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind expressed anguish over thetragedy.Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also expressed grief, and said he has directed the BMC commissioner to conduct an inquiry.BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said he had asked Fadnavis and the BMC commissioner to order a special fire audit of all such pubs and hooka parlours in Mumbai.