While a massive fire killed 14 people and left 19 others injured on the top floor of a building at Kamala Mills Compound in Lower Parel on Friday, Mumbai Police on Saturday lodged a FIR against four people — including Mojo Bistro pub and three directors of Sigrid Ospitalita who manage 1Above pub.
In the latest development, police have pointed out that the reason of the massive fire might be a short circuit and inflammable tarpaulin sheets used in the resto-bars.
Ahmed Pathan, a senior police inspector from NM Joshi Marg police station, said that the FIR has been registered under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (endangering personal safety of others), 338 and (causing grievous hurt by endangering personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.
"Our preliminary findings indicate that short circuit was the reason behind the Thursday night blaze, the same has been corroborated by the witnesses," another official told PTI.
The investigation so far has also revealed that all the 19 injured were dining at 1Above pub, and all the pub staff fled the spot instead of helping the ones who were trapped inside.
As the three directors of Sigrid Ospitalita, identified as Kripesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Mankar, who managed 1Above, are absconding, police have deployed teams to hunt them down.
"They will soon be under arrests. A manhunt is on. We have also issued lookout circulars to ensure that they don't flee the country," an investigating official said.
BMC's demolition drive on Saturday
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Saturday deployed 25 teams to inspect the implementation of safety norms at all hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, malls at Kamala Mills Compound and surrounding areas in Lower Parel.
The preliminary inspection by the BMC detected an authorised partition wall and two rooms, besides an illegal plastic roof supported with bamboos which were reduced to ashes in the blaze.
BMC's demolition squads were seen with hammers smashing the illegal fittings, extensions and obstacles at various areas in Mumbai. Some of the places included the China Garden, Revival Restaurant, Heera Panna Mall, Sky View Cafe and Social Inn.
BMC officials suspended
It is alleged that BMC did not initiate any action despite receiving complaints from many residents and activists over illegal and unsafe construction in at least 20 open-air restaurants in and around Kamala Mills Compound. Two residents from Parel complained, "We have been following the issue since October, but the civic body replied saying the restaurant did not flout any norms."
Amidst public outrage, BMC has suspended five of its officials attached to the fire brigade and the G South Ward.