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Archive for August, 2018

Fire breaks out at India state-run broadcaster’s HQ (22.08.18)

A minor fire broke out today at the Doordarshan Bhawan in New Delhi’s Mandi House.

Six fire tenders were rushed to the building and the blaze was quickly brought under control.

The fire broke out at the Doordarshan Bhawan’s air-conditioning plant. There were no reports casualties as of last updating this report.

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4 die in fire at Crystal Tower in Mumbai’s Parel, building declared unsafe (22.08.2018)

Atleast four people have died and 16 injured after a massive fire broke out at Crystal Tower in Parel area of Mumbai on Wednesday morning. The residential high-rise building is located near Hindmata Cinema.

The fire was controlled after 20 fire tenders were rushed in to douse it. Authorities initially categorised the fire as a Level-2 fire. However, it was reclassified as a Level-4 fire when it intensified.

Massive clouds of smoke were billowing out of the high-rise building. Most of the residents on the 12th floor were stranded on the staircase. Firefighters used hydraulic cranes to rescue them.

“Twenty people were brought to KEM Hospital, of which four were brought dead. They include a senior citizen and three others. Two of the bodies have been identified so far,” said Dr Avinash N Supe, Dean of KEM Hospital. He said 16 patients are stable. Ten of them are men and six women

A call was made to the fire department at 8.32 am and fire tenders reached the spot at 8.40 am.DlLIFp7XoAAIXHk-647x578

Speaking about the rescue operation, a fire department official said the situation has been brought under control and that the building has been declared unsafe.

“The fire-fighting operations are over and the cooling operation is on. A criminal complaint will be lodged soon.”

Power and water supply to the building has been temporarily suspended.

Mumbai: Experts moot rules to arrest short-circuit fires

MUMBAI: Worried about devastating fires due to short-circuits, power sector experts have proposed to PM Narendra Modi and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis rules for using miniature circuit-breakers (MC-Bs) for electrical gadgets so that they quickly arrest supply of current to short-circuit-hit or overheated wire areas and do not allow fires to spread.

Around 90% fires in Mumbai region, including the one of Sunday at the RTO office, are due to short-circuits. Thousands have lost lives in short-circuit fires in Mumbai in 20 years. MCB interrupts the electrical flow through the circuit whenever a fault is detected.

Expert KKK Nair said electricians, builders and consumers have to install MCB based on the gadgets used. Installing disproportionate MCBs for gadgets can result in short-circuits getting additional current to escalate fires. Chittaranjan Tembhekar

7,000 driving licences destroyed in Mumbai RTO fire (06.08.2018)

MUMBAI: More than 7,000 new smart card driving licences were card driving licences were burnt and 20 computers used for making them damaged in the over two-hour fire at Tardeo RTO on Sunday. It will affect distribution and printing of permanent driving licences in the island city for some time, officials said. There was chaos on Monday as computers used for tests faced “technical glitches”. Sources said the computers were brought in from Wadala and Andheri RTOs, so when applications were processed, they got registered under MH-02 (Andheri) or MH-03 (Wadala), when they should have been MH-01 (Tardeo RTO). But officials rectified the problem quickly.

Sanemi Parikh, a college student who was among the first to arrive for a licence, said, “I arrived at 10am and came out of the test room after around two hours. We were made to wait as there was computer problem and only three out of 12 were working.” Another applicant complained of a long queue in the Tardeo RTO compound in the rain. The premises destroyed in the fire had a huge waiting hall, AC room for tests of 25 candidates at a time and spacious cabins for checking documents and biometrics. The alternate arrangement was a small room, cramped with few chairs, two tables for RTO inspectors to check documents and 12 computers for tests.fire-in-rto-office-mumbai1

There was a crowd outside H-block room, where tests were conducted. Regional transport officer Subhash Pedamkar said, “In record time and with assistance of all officials, including women, who stayed back till 9pm on Sunday, we got 12 computers, furniture and arranged for alternate space to ensure licences are issued from Monday morning. We restored the system amid challenging conditions. There may have been teething problems in the morning but we streamlined the issuance of licences by afternoon.”

Sources said the transport department has proposed 30 digital tablets to replace the 12 computers so that more applicants can clear tests. Western India Automobile Association has proposed tests at its Churchgate premises. Nitin Dossa of WIAA said, “We conduct 100 learner’s licence tests daily from 11am to 5pm, and propose to increase it to 200 from 9am to 5pm. They will also be given lectures in road safety.”

Sources said alternate arrangements have been made for printing smart card licences and those burnt will be reprinted in four days. Around 22,000 blank smart cards also got burnt, the sources added.

Kolkata’s Priya Cinema to stop film screening for now: Fire dept (05.08.2018)

Fire brigade officials on Monday asked the authorities of Priya Cinema in Kolkata to stop screening films till an investigation into Sunday night’s fire was completed.

“We are conducting the investigation. The cinema hall has been asked not to screen films until the investigation is over. We will give the go-ahead after reviewing the situation,” said Jagmohan, the director general of the fire brigade.

Jagmohan and forensic officials visited the spot Monday morning and inspected the area. Official sources said forensic personnel have collected samples from the spot.

The owner of the hall, Arijit Dutta, said the film screening has been stopped for the time being. “We are trying to resume it as soon as possible… If possible, today itself. There is also no damage to the cinema hall in the fire,” he told PTI.

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The fire had broken out at the movie theatre in Deshapriya Park area of south Kolkata during a late-night show. There was no report of any casualty. Cinemagoers had managed to exit after smoke filled the auditorium at around 10.15 pm in the middle of the show. Four members of Dutta’s family and a staff member were trapped on the roof, but were evacuated safely by fire brigade personnel.

West Bengal Fire Services Minister Sovan Chatterjee, who had reached the spot after the incident, said all angles, including the possibility of the fire originating from a ground-floor food outlet, would be investigated.

The fire was likely caused by a short circuit, sources said.