Mumbai fire: police probing multiple angles

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After the tragic incident in which 14 lives were lost in the fire in a knee-jerk reaction, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) launched a demolition drive against illegal structures in Kamala Mills area of Mumbai on Saturday.

"A manhunt has also been launched for the three owners of the popular pub-cum-food joint in Kamala Mills complex, who have been on the run since the incident", he said.

"They lacked proper exits and extinguishers. there is negligence", Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Deepak Deoraj said.

Civic officials inspected 624 restaurants, pubs and malls across the city and its suburbs, demolished illegal structures at 314 sites and seized 417 cooking gas cylinders, a release said.

The BMC demolished illegal constructions and alterations at over 355 establishments in the city till yesterday.

The blaze had started after 12.30 am on Friday at the "1 Above" pub on the terrace of Trade House Building in Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel, a commercial hub, resulting in collapse of its bamboo-propped canopy. Fadnavis tweeted, "5 officials have been already suspended but beyond that if they or owners are found responsible for loss of lives, they will be booked under IPC". It has been said that the premises should have roads, stairs to escape when there is a fire, and also ensure that this place is free from encroachment.

The officers failed to notice and take action against the pubs and restaurant flouting the norms.

A view of the charred building in which a fire broke out in Mumbai.

"Just like in the nallah and road fix scam, where we found out who is the corrupt contractor, and who is the corrupt engineer and broke their backs, we will do the same here", Mehta said. There have been allegations that civic authorities ignored construction irregularities and violated safety norms in the compound. The 1 a.m. fire quickly spread from the restaurant through a four-story building, said fire official Balkrishna Kadam.

Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadevar had said that orders have been given in this regard and strict action will be taken against the guilty officials. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief.

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