Two weeks after a level five fire was reported in the South Mumbai downtown shopping mall, Mumbai Fire Department (MFB) said on Friday that the mall’s firefighting system was failing was not functional and that appropriate action will be taken against those found. guilty. However, the MFB has not yet confirmed the cause of the fire as investigations are ongoing.
“During the firefighting at the City Center shopping mall [in Mumbai Central], it was found that the fire fighting system was not functional. In this regard, appropriate action is underway against the licensing agency, ”MFB said in its response to issues raised by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) standing committee.
“After inspection by the BMC compliance team, we issued a notice in October 2019 and the mall management submitted their compliance response in November 2019,” the MFB added.
Firefighters mentioned that while its investigation into the blaze is ongoing, the BMC is also undertaking an investigation to determine how many stores inside the mall were illegal, if any.
A spokesperson for the City Center Mall did not comment on the MFB’s response.
The MFB said that after the Kamala Mills fire in December 2018, all shopping malls and large establishments in the city are inspected and issued notices of compliance from time to time.
On October 22, a level one fire was reported in a store on the second floor of the mall at 8:53 p.m. It quickly spread to other floors and firefighters said it was a level five fire – a rare event in which the fire chief must be present – at 2:42 a.m. A total of five firefighters, including an assistant firefighter, were injured while fighting the blaze. MFB had operated 203 cargo tankers on site with over 250 firefighters.
Rais Shaikh, director of the Samajwadi party and member of the standing committee, said, “I complained about the unsafe conditions in the mall about a year ago, but despite this, the incident took place. I ask that an investigation of the Department of Criminal Investigations (CID) be opened into this matter. “
Javed Juneja, Congress Director and member of the standing committee, said: “The firefighting system did not work and the MFB said they inspected the mall last year. If there was an inspection and the compliance was correct, why was the fire fighting system not functional? “