Firefighter dies, five hurt in high-rise blaze

 19 Jul 2014 - 1:48

Firefighters (right) huddle together on the edge of the burning building as they await rescue by Indian Navy and Coast Guard helicopters in Mumbai yesterday.

Mumbai: A firefighter was killed and five were injured yesterday when the top two floors of a 22-storey building that houses the office of film star Hrithik Roshan went up in flames.
The incident, which started as a routine fire call soon became a major operation as 11 firefighters were trapped, necessitating a helicopter rescue operation by the Navy and the Coast Guard in the afternoon.
The deceased fireman, identified as Nitin Inglekar, was trapped along with 10 colleagues in the thick smoke billowing on the top of the Lotus Business park building in suburban Andheri (West) and succumbed, an official of BMC Disaster Control said.
There was no escape route for the firefighters trapped on the terrace as the flames and thick smoke blown by the strong winds hampered fire-fighting.
As the situation became serious and there was no way to save them, civic authorities requested help from the Navy and Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard deployed a Chetak helicopter and the Navy sent a Sea King helicopter to rescue the firefighters. They were rushed to R N Cooper Hospital for first-aid or treatment as required. The condition of three is reported to be serious.
Inglekar belonged to Borivali Unit of Mumbai Fire Brigade and was among the first group which responded to the fire call.
The blaze was noticed on the 21st floor and the flames quickly spread to the 22nd floor, officials said, adding it was brought under control at 4pm.
The fire, the cause of which is not known, broke out at 10am when a majority of the office complexes had not yet opened for work. Forty fire tenders battled the flames even as a few people on the lower floors were evacuated. IANS