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5 factors that show Mumbai's Kamala Mills fire was a tragedy waiting to happen

The fire that engulfed a rooftop restaurant in the Kamala Mills Compound in Lower Parel area of Mumbai, killing 14 people, most of them women, was a tragedy waiting to happen, an activist has alleged. 

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DNA Web Team

Updated: Dec 29, 2017, 06:17 PM IST

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The fire that engulfed a rooftop pub in the Kamala Mills Compound in Lower Parel area of Mumbai, killing 14 people, most of them women, was a tragedy waiting to happen, an activist has alleged. 

Activist Mangesh Kalaskar said he he had warned the BMC about illegal structures in the Kamala Mills premises but Mumbai civic body ignored the warning saying "nothing wrong here". 

"I made several complaints regarding illegal structures in  Kamala Mills' premises, but the BMC replied that there is nothing wrong here," Kalaskar, who is also a member of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, said. 

According to initial reports several fire safety rules were violated by the "1 Above" pub at the Kamala Mills complex. 

Here are 5 facts that could have led to the tragedy on Thursday night: 

1- No fire extinguishers:

Early reports suggest that there were no fire extinguishers in the pub when the fire broke out. 

2- Illegal construction:

The pub had a false ceiling made of dry bamboo, which is known to easily catch fire. The Mumbai Fire Brigade in its initial assessment found that illegal constructions exacerbated the fire. 

3- LPG cylinders:

There were nearly half a dozen LPG cylinders stored by 1Above pub. 

4- Emergency exits:

There were hindrances created on the emergency exit way, police said.

5- Clearance despite violations: 

The restaurant was given NOC (No Objection Certificate) despite fire safety violations, BJP MP Kirit Somaiaya said. He alleged that "the place where fire took place was illegal." A civic official told PTI the BMC had taken action against the pub more than three times for "violations".

In a statement, 1Above rejected claims of fire safety violations and said "there are over 10 fire extinguishers and adequate fire safety signatures in the premises as is required by the authorities."

"As part of the same fire safety protocol, the fire exit dedicated to 1Above was maintained well as per rules and regulations," it said.  

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