20 rescued from burning MTNL building in Mumbai, many more trapped

Mumbai: At least 20 persons were rescued but scores more were still trapped as a massive fire engulfed the Mahanagar Telephone Nagar Ltd building in Bandra here on Monday afternoon, an official said.

The blaze erupted round 3.10 pm on the fourth floor of the ground-plus-nine storey building and started spreading upwards, trapping many working in the building.

Many MTNL employees, who were out on lunch at that time, said they saw huge clouds of smoke billowing out of the building and alerted their colleagues inside to move to safety.

As there was no way out, many of them rushed towards the terrace and could be seen frantically waving their hands and kerchiefs and screaming for help from the rescue teams below.

Braving strong winds, firemen, using sophisticated ladders, managed to reach the terrace and rescued those trapped on the terrace, including several women.

The MTNL telephone exchange is located on the busy S.V. Road and around 31 fire tenders have rushed to fight the conflagration.

Police cordoned off traffic on the road to enable rescue vehicles and ambulances rush to the tragedy site.

This is the second fire in the city in the past two days. On Sunday afternoon, one person was killed in a blaze at the Churchill Chambers building in Colaba, while 14 others were rescued safely by the fire brigade.