Mumbai Fire: Rescuers deploy aerial ladder to save over 60 from Bandra building, many more still trapped

Mumbai: Fire brigade personnel deployed an aerial ladder to rescue 60 persons from a Mumbai building, where fire broke out on Monday afternoon, officials said.

Efforts are on to rescue people who may still be trapped in the nine-floor telephone exchange building in western suburb Bandra, an official said.

Most of those rescued were trapped on the terrace of the building.

Fire brigade personnel entered the building with oxygen masks and searchlights to rescue people who may be trapped on some floors, an official said.

Two fire brigade personnel, who were exposed to the smoke billowing out of the building, were shifted to nearby hospital for treatment.

Fire was confined to the third and fourth floors, the official said.

There is no clear picture yet about those on the third and fourth floors, he said.

“We came down from the fifth floor via lift. We saw fire brigade personnel bringing out some people from a smoke-filled floor,” a woman said.

Another woman who also managed to come out of the building, said, “When we came to know of the fire, we searched for the staircase, which had become partially invisible due to heavy smoke.”

“We had closed the windows and doors of our office. Fire brigade people came and rescued us,” she said.

There were still six to seven persons on the floor from where she was rescued, she added.

A woman who was rescued using the aerial ladder was seen shooting the scene around with her mobile phone even as she was being lowered to the ground.

Fire broke out at around 3 pm at the MTNL building, which incidentally is located near a fire brigade centre in suburban Bandra.

As it is a working day, many persons, mostly MTNL employees, were present inside the building, he said.

Fourteen fire engines and other equipment, including a robot van and an ambulance, is engaged in fire fighting, he said.

Fire fighting and rescue operations are in progress and efforts to rescue people stranded on upper floors and terrace of the building are on, he said.

Visuals on TV channels showed smoke billowing from the building and people on the terrace trying to signal those below.