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FIR against builder, office owners in Andheri fire incident

city-fireOn Wednesday, an FIR was registered against the builder, office owners, occupants and others in connection with July 18 fire incident at an upscale commercial high-rise in Andheri, police said.

The FIR was registered at Amboli police station against owners, developers, occupiers, secretary, chairman, manager and others of Lotus Business Park building following a complaint from fire officer Y R Jadhav, Deputy Police Commissioner (spokesperson) Mahesh Patil, said.

The accused, whose names were not specified in the FIR, were booked under IPC sections 304 A (causing death by negligence), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006, Patil added.

Police has so far recorded statements of over 20 people associated with building, which had caught fire and claimed the life of a fireman Nitin Ivalekar (35).

A police team had also visited the site to understand the sequence of events that led to the blaze, said another officer.

“According to fire brigade officials, the building flouted safety norms as fire-fighting systems were not in place, open spaces were used as godowns and exit routes were cluttered etc,” the officer said, adding, the lessees, the office owners and the building committee did not ensure all the safety norms were followed.

Quoting fire officials, police said, owners and occupants had also carried out alterations without prior permissions, which caused hurdles in fire fighting operations and led to the death of the fireman.

A major blaze had broken out on the 21st floor of Lotus Business Park a little before noon on Friday and 21 firemen got stranded on the rooftop for several hours even as all civilians were promptly evacuated.

The firemen were later rescued from the site with the help of Navy and Coast Guard helicopters and were rushed to Cooper Hospital for treatment.

The fire was doused after more than six hours.

The building houses offices of several prominent corporate houses and a few film companies. Actor Hrithik Roshan reportedly has his office in the building.

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