16 injured in Mantralaya fire, blaze under
people were injured as a major fire swept the Maharashtra Mantralaya
or secretariat here Thursday, with officials saying that everyone
had been rescued from the building and the blaze
Mumbai: The fire in
the Maharashtra Mantralaya or secretariat which claimed two lives,
and injured over a dozen more here continued Friday morning, with
officials saying the blaze was under control but yet to be fully
A major fire broke out Thursday afternoon in room 411 on the
fourth floor and quickly spread, engulfing the three top floors of
the six storied iconic Mantralaya building in the heart of South
Fire brigade and city disaster control cell officials said that
efforts were on to douse the fire that continued Friday morning.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has ordered an inquiry by the
Crime Branch into the incident to ascertain whether it was an
accident, negligence or sabotage.
Although the rescue teams, comprising of the fire brigade, the
police, an Indian Navy team and Force One commandoes and 41 fire
tenders from Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, and other agencies,
managed to evacuate and save the 65-odd people trapped on the
upper floors, two dead bodies were recovered late in the evening.
Two charred bodies were recovered from outside Deputy Chief
Minister Ajit Pawar's office on the sixth floor of the Mantralaya.
"Two dead bodies - both males - have been found outside an office
on the sixth floor," a fire official said late Thursday.
Chavan, who held an emergency meeting Thursday evening, discussed
the situation with other ministers and planned alternative
arrangements for ministers to function till the situation
normalised at the state government's administrative headquarters.
"A first-hand assessment of the situation arising out of the fire,
the probable causes and precautionary measures to be undertaken
for the future were discussed at the meeting," an official said.
The blaze, which badly gutted the three top floors, has virtually
paralysed the functioning of several top political heads and
bureaucrats of key departments including the Chief Minister,
Deputy Chief Minister, Revenue, Tribal Welfare, Forests, Urban
Development and Housing, Education, besides the offices of the
state chief secretary, the State Disaster Management Cell.
A main control tower atop the Mantralaya which is linked to all
the district headquarters in the state has also been damaged and
rendered non-functional, besides damage to furniture and fittings,
computers, original files and documents of various departments
pertaining to important official decisions.
While most ministers and top officials have small offices in
government's administrative headquarters, there could be security
related issues as some 1,500 men and women work in the landmark
building, which gets an equal number of visitors every day.