Blame Game On Kamala Mills Fire That Killed 14 People, Govt Orders Official Inquiry

| December 29 , 2017 , 14:37 IST

A massive fire at the Kamala Mills in Mumbai's Lower Parel that began around midnight on Thursday, leading to the death of 14 people, shocked the nation. As politicians expressed their condolences, a blame game ensued, despite the government ordering an official inquiry into the incident.

The fire began on a rooftop restaurant in the Kamala Mills complex and within 30 minutes spread to the rest of the building.

A statement by the Dean of King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital Dr Avinash Supe specified that the cause of death for the deceased was suffocation and carbon monoxide poisoning, rather than flames.

"With those 12 patients [the injured], 14 dead bodies were also brought to the hospital.. The main reason for deaths was suffocation and carbon monoxide poisoning," he said.

ALSO READ: 14 Killed, 12 Injured In Massive Fire At Mumbai

Dr. Supe's statement indicated that the deaths could have been avoided if there had been a proper escape and evacuation method. The initial inquiry noted illegal constructions, an absence of emergency exits, and a lack of fire extinguishers as well.

Calling the incident as unfortunate, BJP MP Kirit Somaiya blamed the Shiv Sena-run Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the lapse in security.

"BMC officials are responsible for the murder of people in Kamala Mills fire, second such incident in two weeks, when will the BMC wake up?," Somaiya said.

"Two weeks back similar type of fire at Farsan Workshop Sakinaka 1 dozen people had died," he said.

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"Several such establishments at Kamla mills compound are illegal, part of which was regularised lately, the place where fire took place was illegal," Somaiya said.

MoS Home Hansraj Ahir said that an inquiry has been ordered.

"It is a very unfortunate incident. The state government and BMC will surely inquire into the incident and strict action will be taken against guilty," Ahir said.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis confirmed the enquiry as well.

"Disturbing to know about the loss of lives in unfortunate Kamala Mills 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," Fadnavis said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the police have booked Hratesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Manka of C Grade Hospitality, which manages the pub under on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. They have also been charged under IPC sections 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others).