Mumbai Police on Wednesday arrested accused developer Abdul Razak Ismail Supariwala in connection with the fire incident at Crystal Tower residential apartments near Hindmata Cinema in Mumbai’s Parel area, which left four dead and 21 others injured. The deceased include one aged woman and three males. A total of 14 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse level-4 fire that occurred at the 12th floor of the building, the BMC disaster management officials said.
#Mumbai: Police arrests accused developer Abdul Razak Ismail Supariwala. FIR was lodged u/s 304,336,337,338 IPC & section 3(3) of Maharashtra Fire Prevention & Life Safety Act 2006 against him in connection with fire incident at Crystal Tower today. 4 people died in the incident. https://t.co/4RtETUzK0V— ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2018
A rescue operation to evacuate the people, who were feared trapped had also been launched, they said. "People trapped inside the tower are being rescued using a crane,'' the news agency ANI reported. A total of 16 persons were taken to nearby KEM Hospital following the operation. The fire, which was earlier classified as Level 2, later became Level 3 and then Level 4.
Talking about the tragic incident earlier a fire official said, "Area around the lift of the 12th floor was the worst affected. Fire in the electrical wiring kept in duct area had caused smoke and heat on the entire floor, because of which people on upper floors were trapped".
"Building declared unsafe; power and water supply stopped for now," he added.
The building does not have the mandatory Occupation Certificate, but was already occupied by about 58 flat owners, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The BMC in October 2016 had issued a notice to the builder and the 58 occupants to vacate the building within seven days but it was challenged in the court and was still subjudice, the civic body said in a statement.
The fire, which was reported at 8.32 am on Wednesday, was brought under control after about three hours, the fire department officials said, adding some renovation work was underway on the affected floor but the exact reason for the blaze would be known only after a proper investigation.
“Owing to smoke and heat, the occupants on upper floors got trapped and 30 to 35 were rescued by fire brigade using special appliances and firemen donning breathing apertures from stair case of the building,” P S Rahangdale, the chief of the Fire Brigade said.
On a related note, the blaze came days after the city witnessed another level 2 fire at a godown in the Parel area on August 13.
On December 29, 2017, a massive fire broke out in Mumbai's Kamala Mills compound leaving 14 dead and several others injured. As many as 11 people have been arrested in connection to the incident after police registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 II of the IPC against the accused.
(With PTI inputs)