Major fire at Maharashtra secretariat building

Mumbai: A major fire broke out at the fourth floor of the Mantralaya building which houses the state secretariat in south Mumbai this afternoon, fire brigade sources said. The fire broke out at NCP minister Babanrao Pachpute`s office, the sources said. Six fire engines have rushed to the spot, they said.

So far, there are no reports of any casualties, they added. Maharashtra Chief Secretary has ordered immediate evacuation of the entire building, sources said. Pachpute said the fire has spread to the Chief Minister`s office on the sixth floor. The smoke from the blaze on the fourth floor has engulfed two upper floors of the building.

No casualties have been reported so far as the building was evacuated soon after fire was noticed. Thousands of officials at Mantralaya, which houses the state Secretariat, were seen standing outside as fire fighters battled the blaze, which was suspected to have been caused by a short-circuit.

Contingents of the state`s elite commando squad Force One and city police`s Quick Response Team arrived at the spot amid reports that some people were still trapped on the terrace of the Mantralaya. "The Force One and QRTs are assisting the fire brigade teams in carrying out rescue operations," a police official said.