Fire at 'Make In India Week' event: Fadnavis orders probe, PM Modi extends support
“Inquiry ordered into fire; other 'Make In India Week' events won't be affected,” said Devendra Fadnavis.
Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday ordered an inquiry into the incident of a massive fire that broke out at the venue of 'Make in India Week' at Girgaum Chowpatty here.
"The fire that broke out at around 8.22 pm was put under control. Inquiry ordered into fire; other 'Make In India Week' events won't be affected,” Fadnavis told reporters here.
He said, “Cause of fire not yet known; no casualties or injuries.”
Fadnavis further said that the venue was evacuated immediately and traffic management allowed early disbursal without any trouble.
"A fire safety audit was conducted prior to the programme and all SOPs were followed. Number of fire fighting equipment were kept stationed at venue. A comprehensive inquiry into the incidence of fire will be conducted to ascertain the reason," he added.
The Maharashtra CM then took to Twitter to inform that PM Narendra Modi called up to take stock of the situation.
“Hon'ble PM @narendramodi just spoke to me over the phone about the unfortunate incident and extended all support from GoI,” Fadnavis tweeted.
Hon'ble PM @narendramodi just spoke to me over the phone about the unfortunate incident and extended all support from GoI.
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) February 14, 2016
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) February 14, 2016
According to TV reports, the fire broke out under the stage during a performance of Maharashtra's Lavani folk dance at the mega event at Girgaum Chowpatty beach.
Besides CM Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackeray, Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan, Amir Khan, Hema Malini, Vivek Oberoi and others were present when the incident took place.
Around 20,000 spectators were evacuated from the venue.
It took about 30 minutes to douse the inferno by fire-fighters. At least 14 fire tenders and 10 water tankers were rushed to the site. The stage was completely burnt down and the show was stopped midway.
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 14, 2016
Speaking to news agency ANI, Chief Fire Officer (Mumbai) said, "We'll investigate to know cause of fire, will submit report in a day or two."
"We had more enforcement than regular but due to wind and involvement of fire crackers, fire intensified," he added.
The exact cause of the fire that broke out one hour after the entertainment segment had begun was not known but state BJP spokesman Atul Shah, who was seated in the front row, said the fire apparently broke out from beneath the stage.
Shiv Sena MLA Vijay Shivtare said a spark was noticed beneath the stage, which was a "wooden structure", before the fire broke out. Shivtare said there were 500 artistes behind the stage and an estimated 50,000 people, several of them VIPs, had assembled at the venue.
Actor Vivek Oberoi, who was at one of the flanks of the stage and was getting ready to perform another event, said the flames leapt 4O to 50 feet high and there was threat of it spreading to nearby tents beause of the strong sea breeze but things were brought under control because of timely coordination between various agencies.
"I was watching a dance performance when this happened, then suddenly the stage was engulfed by smoke. I was backstage when this happened. Authorities were quick to react and evacuated people from there," actor Isha Koppikar said.
Lyricist Prasoon Joshi said he was there at the event because Amitabh Bachchan was reciting His poem. "As soon as the recital got over, I left the venue and another event started and suddenly the fire broke out."
Superstar Aamir Khan said, "It was a very bad fire and spread at an alarming speed due to wind. I am fortunate to be alright. Police and fire dept did a wonderful job in evacuating people. Thankfully, there were no injuries. Evacuation was smooth".
Event Manager Sabbas Joseph said, "Everyone is safe and fire is under control".
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray hailed the role of Mumbai police and Fire officials in putting out the flames swiftly.
"Unfortunate fire at Make in India event at Chowpatty. As of now all safe, great efforts by @Mumbai Police and Fire dept. In evacuation," he tweeted.
However, NCP leader Sachin Ahir alleged that the "shoddy planning and organisation (of event) led to the tragedy".
"Action should be taken for those responsible for the fire," he said.
Make in India is a flagship event designed to impart greater momentum to the initiative to boost the manufacturing sector in the country.
The 'Make in India Week' is aimed at showcasing to the world the achievements of the nation in the manufacturing sector and promote India as a preferred manufacturing destination.