In the city of Mumbai, where sky hugging skyscrapers co-inhibit with one of Asia’s largest slums, the desperate need to maximize space often takes precedence over safety. As a result, old abandoned mills are turned into hipster restaurants, without much regard for fire safety regulations, people continue to live in dilapidated buildings that the government have declared uninhabitable; and unauthorized settlements mushroom on whatever free space the poor can find to make a makeshift home.
Often, this utter disregard for rules and regulations, lead to tragic incidents and Mumbai is frequently in the news for two very tragic kinds of accidents — building collapse, and fire incidents.
Fire incidents, in fact, have been a cause for major concern not only for residential complexes but also for buildings that house businesses. Unfortunately, in the past few years, Mumbai has seen several tragic incidents of fires in high rises, as well as crowded spaces. Today is no different. A 30-year-old man died after he fell from the 19th floor of a highrise in South Mumbai, which caught fire on Friday. In a video of the incident, the man is seen hanging from the balcony of a house on the 19th floor from where the fire was reported. He is also seen falling to the ground.
Such heartbreaking incidents have also happened in the past, in the city of Mumbai. Here’s a look back at the tragic fire incidents that the city witnessed in recent years.
Bhandup hospital fire, 2021
In 2021, as we battled the pandemic, ten patients died after a fire broke out at a Mumbai mall hospital where coronavirus patients were being treated. The fire broke out at the Sunrise Hospital in the Dreams Mall building in the Bhandup area shortly after midnight. Twenty fire engines, 15 water tankers and ambulances were rushed to the spot. Many patients were evacuated by the fire brigade and shifted to another hospital. Initially, the hospital authority claimed that no one died of the fire, however, later it was discovered that almost 10 patients had lost their lives in that incident.
Bandra MTNL Building fire, 2019
In one of the lesser tragic incidents, after a major fire broke out at the MTNL building in Bandra, around 100 people were trapped. Many went to the terrace of the high building and waited for the fire brigade to take control of the situation. The incident happened around 3.10 p.m, and it was a grade four fire. However, the fire brigade could control it on time, and media reports claimed that 84 people who were trapped on the terrace of the building were all rescued.
Goregaon fire, 2018
Five people succumbed to death after the Technic Plus One building in Goregaon locality of Mumbai caught fire on May 30. Nearly 100 labourers were also trapped at the location and were later rescued by the fire department. A media report claims that four to five victims died during the treatment phase.
Saki Naka Fire, 2017
Twelve people lost their lives in a massive fire that broke out at a snack shop in Saki Naka, Mumbai. The accident occurred at Makaria Compound on Khairani Road in the early hours of December 18.
All the injured were rushed to Rajawadi hospital and were reported declared dead on arrival. The dead included individuals who worked in the compound, and therefore, could not escape the fire.
Kamala Mills Fire, 2017
Perhaps the worst fire incident in Mumbai’s recent history is the one that erupted at 1Above restaurant and Mojo’s Bistro pub located in Kamala Mills Compound on December 29, 2017, in which 14 persons were killed and several others were injured.
Police officials said that the blaze started around 12:30am in 1 Above, a restobar and swiftly spread to the canopied interiors of the adjacent Mojo’s Bistro, both located on the top floor of the three storeyed, L-shaped Trade House building. The rooftop section of the two eateries, separated by a partition, is accessible only through a narrow staircase till you get to the lift. The other arm of the L-shaped building houses five media houses, portions of which were also gutted by the time the fire was doused by 6:30 am, nearly six hours after it had started.
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