Mantralaya fire: Two key offices left unscathed
Mumbai: Officials who reviewed the extent of damage to the fire-ravaged state secretariat were surprised to see that two key offices remained unscathed even as the blaze devoured other areas of the fourth floor.
The office of a deputy secretary in Urban Development department and the adjoining office belonging to Pravin Pardeshi, principal secretary, rehabilitation and relief, was not damaged in the blaze, sources said.
"There was so much heat on the fourth floor that it felt as if one had switched on a huge electric heater," an official who was among those who inspected the floors, said.
We suspect that the slab has suffered structural damage due to heat, he said.
In the morning, Chief Secretary Jayant Kumar Banthia sent a team of PWD structural engineers to inspect the damage in the aftermath of the blaze.
Banthia remained on the second floor of the administrative building opposite the Mantralaya supervising the rescue work. Sales Tax Commissioner Sanjay Bhatia and Finance Secretary Sudhir Srivastava were with Banthia.
In the morning, Banthia spoke to City Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik about non-presence of senior police officials in the area, sources said.
Examination of the Mantralaya attendance record may help shed light on whether someone is still trapped in the top floors, they said.