A view of a building in which a fire broke out in Mumbai on Friday. At least 14 people were killed and as many injured after a major fire in Kamala Mills Compound in Lower Parel. (Source: PTI)

Kamala Mills Fire: 14 Killed, 21 Injured In Fire At Pub Hosting Birthday Bash

A fire that started at a rooftop pub during a party spread rapidly through the building, killing 14 people, including a woman celebrating her 29th birthday and many of her friends, officials said today.

The fire, which also injured 21 people, started after 12.30 a.m. in the “1 Above” pub on the terrace, and spread to Mojo pub on the third floor one level below, said an official of the Mumbai civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

Most of the victims died of asphyxiation, said Avinash Supe, dean of the KEM hospital where the injured and dead were brought. Among the dead was Khushbu Bansali who was celebrating her 29th birthday, and 10 other women, according to an official list of the victims.

Bansali's grandfather, Babulal Mehta, blamed the “irresponsible” hotel management and the civic authorities.

The hotel had put up a temporary structure supported by bamboo, with the possibility of catching fire. There was no fire extinguishing facility either. It is the responsibility of the police and civic authorities act against any violations.
Babulal Mehta, Khushbu Bansali’s Grandfather

1 Above and Mojo are located in the Trade House Building in Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel area, a popular night spot as well as commercial hub housing several offices including national television channels.

“I was in the night shift. We heard people screaming at the pub. Initially, we thought it is due to the party which was underway there,” said Sanjay Jadhav, a programme producer of a news channel.

A team of policemen inspect the site after a fire broke out in Mumbai on Friday. (Image: PTI)
A team of policemen inspect the site after a fire broke out in Mumbai on Friday. (Image: PTI)

“When I came out of my office, I saw that a fire has broken out at the roof top pub. The main entrance of our office was blocked due to the flames,” he said. The massive blaze engulfed the entire building in about 30 minutes and took several hours to be put out. The cause of the fire is not known.

Teams of fire brigade and police rushed to the spot and 35 injured people were pulled out from inside the pub and taken to hospital, a police official said.

Restaurant Owners Booked

Police have booked Hratesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Manka of C Grade Hospitality, which manages the pub, along with others, under various charges including cuplable homicide not amounting to murder.

They are also charged under IPC sections 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others). Two of those booked have been detained.

Rescue team carry out operation after the fire broke out on Friday. (Source: PTI)
Rescue team carry out operation after the fire broke out on Friday. (Source: PTI)

In Violation Of Fire Safety Norms?

Several media outlets, including TV news channels Times Now, ET Now and TV9 Marathi, have offices in the complex. There have been allegations that civic authorities have turned a blind eye to construction irregularities and violation of fire safety norms in the compound.

Watch this discussion with KV Hiwrale, the Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Mumbai, noted Architect Hafeez Contractor and Urban Expert & Environmentalist Rishi Aggarwal on the dismal state of planning in the city.