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Mumbai's Kamala Mills fire: 14 die due to suffocation

The doctor who performed the postmortem on the deceased said that all the 14 people died of suffocation. 

Mumbai's Kamala Mills fire: 14 die due to suffocation
IANS photo

MUMBAI: At least 14 people died and three were critically injured after a massive fire broke out at a multi-storey building in India's financial capital of Mumbai on Thursday night, local authorities said.

The fire department received a call about the blaze at a commercial building in the Kamala Mills compound in Central Mumbai at around 12:30 am, an official said.

Several fire tenders, water tankers, emergency ambulance and police personnel rushed to the spot for the rescue operation, BMC disaster management unit said. A majority of the deceased were women attending a party at a rooftop restaurant.

Post-mortem reports of those died in Kamala mill blaze in Mumbai have revealed that suffocation was the cause of all deaths.

Dr Rajesh Dere of King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital who performed the post-mortems confirmed the cause of deaths.

Kamala Mills, a refurbished industrial compound, houses swanky restaurants and other commercial establishments including offices of several media outlets.

The fire in the building started on the top floor and engulfed the structure in less than thirty minutes, media reports said.

Twenty-five of the injured were taken to Mumbai's KEM Hospital, of whom 12 died, while nine people were being treated at Bhatia Hospital. Eleven out of 14 deceased have been identified, whereas the identity of three still remains unknown.

According to the official, the cause of the fire remains to be ascertained.

Meanwhile, transmission of several TV channels located near the accident spot have also been affected due to the fire.

Several leaders today expressed their grief over the Mumbai building fire. 

President Ram Nath Kovind early Friday morning tweeted about the incident. "Disturbing news about the fire in Mumbai. Condolences to the bereaved families and wishing the injured an early recovery. Commend the valiant efforts of fire-fighters and those in rescue ops," he wrote on the micro-blogging site.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too expressed his anguish on Twitter. "Anguished by the fire in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. I pray that those injured recover quickly," he wrote.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed his condolence and tweeted: "Disturbing to know about the loss of lives in unfortunate Kamala Mills fire incident in Mumbai. My thoughts are with the families who lost their loved ones and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured. Directed the BMC Commissioner to conduct an in-depth enquiry."

In another tweet, the chief minister said that he has directed Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner (Ajoy Mehta) "to take strong action against erring officials immediately".