12 persons killed in Mumbai eatery blaze

Mumbai: At least 12 persons, including a Nepali national, were killed and another two injured when a major fire engulfed a dry snacks and sweetmeats shop here early on Monday, officials said.

According to the BMC Disaster Control, the blaze was reported in the Bhanu Farsan shop on Khairani Road in Andheri East area, near Laxmi Narayan Temple of Sakinaka, around 4.15 a.m.

The fire, due to a suspected short-circuit, quickly spread to huge stocks of eatables, cloth sheets, furniture and electrical fittings.

So strong was the intensity of the inferno that all the 12 victims were found to have 100 percent burns and some have yet to be identified.

One worker, identified as Akhilesh Ramkishore Tiwari, 25, managed to jump out of a window in the burning shop and suffered severe fractures in both the legs, an official said.

Later the structure – where large quantities of ready-to-eat dry snacks and namkeens were manufactured in an area measuring around 200 square feet, came crashing down, trapping the victims.

The bodies of the workers – all aged 30 – were taken to the Rajawadi Hospital, Ghatkopar for an autopsy and two are yet to be identified, said a hospital official.

The identified victims were Jitendra, Gulam, Ramnresh Gupta, Naim Salim Mirza, Wasim Salim Mirza, Bhola, Lambu, Manohar Pandit and Raju Yadav, while Lullu was a Nepalese national.

The exact causes of the fire are being investigated, though around three or four workers managed to escape to safety, local eyewitnesses said.

Three fire-tenders and four jumbo water tankers fought the blaze which did not spread and was restricted to the small shop in the congested and thickly populated locality of Andheri east and managed to extinguish it soon.