Sat, Dec 30, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Rooftop restaurant fire kills at least 15 people in Mumbai

AP, NEW DELHI

Firefighters carry a victim on a stretcher after a fire at a restaurant in Mumbai, India, yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Flames shot into the nighttime sky early yesterday as a fire engulfed an upscale rooftop restaurant in the Indian city of Mumbai, killing 15 people and sending others fleeing for their lives, fire officials said.

The 1am fire spread quickly from the restaurant through the four-story building, Mumbai Fire Brigade official Balkrishna Kadam said.

Eight fire engines battled the blaze for more than five hours, he said.

Video showed a blazing fire atop a building, and then a roof-like shelter collapsing.

A bamboo ceiling burned quickly and collapsed as people tried to escape, TV news channel TimesNow said.

“There was a stampede and someone pushed me,” Mumbai gynecologist Sulbha Arora Mumbai said on Twitter. “People were running over me even as the ceiling above me was collapsing in flames. Still don’t know how I got out alive.”

The building is located in Kamala Mills, a sprawling former textile compound that has been redeveloped with upscale restaurants and offices, and has become a popular nightspot in Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital.

Several TV news channels operating from the compound had to shut down some of their broadcasts, reportedly due to equipment damage.

“It was not only difficult, but impossible to move out the front door, so we tried to move out our other emergency exit, even though fireballs were falling down,” TV-9 producer Sharad Jadhav said. “Somehow, I managed to get everybody out of the place one by one, and then I came out, and when we came out the roof of the restaurant came crashing down.”

More than 50 people were taken to King Edward Memorial Hospital, 12 of whom were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, hospital doctor Avinash Supe said.

The deaths were caused by both burns and suffocation, Supe said.

Fire officials said 14 of the victims had been identified, and there was one unidentified body.

The dead included 11 women, they said.

Babu Lal, who was celebrating his granddaughter’s birthday at the restaurant, told TimesNow that his granddaughter died in the fire.

Police filed a case of culpable homicide against the owners and the manager of the restaurant. No arrests have been made.

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