Update: 1.25 p.m. IST: Private fire marshals were deployed outside the 26 halls at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) grounds, Monday, where the "Make in India" event is in process. A fire broke out at the event during a cultural performance, Sunday.
Magnum Fire Services have been placed near the air-conditioning machinery outside the halls at the event on Monday, reports the Press Trust of India.
Original Story: The fire brigade authority in Mumbai has started its inquiry into the fire that broke out Sunday evening at the Make in India event. Sabotage and other angles will reportedly be looked into.
"We will probe all aspects, including finding out if there was a sabotage angle involved," a fire brigade official told the Press Trust of India.
The event was being managed by event management company Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd and set designer Nitin Chandrakant Desai said that there were no flaws in his design.
"A fire audit will ascertain reasons but I am sure it was not due to the sets," he said.
"All fire and safety norms prescribed were followed. We are grateful for the help from the Maharashtra government and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his team, who stayed at the venue right till the end to ensure the venue was evacuated and reviewed the site in detail post the fire was doused," Wizcraft said in a statement.
Late Sunday evening Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that an inquiry will be started into the fire that engulfed a stage during a cultural performance at the Girgaum Chowpatty area in Mumbai.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also extended help for the inquiry, Fadnavis said late Sunday.
Around 7,000 people were evacuated from the venue and 80-100 performers were on stage at the time. Initially, it was assumed that the fire was a part of the performance but when it spread across the stage emergency protocol was initiated, reports DNA.
The evacuation plan was practised beforehand, which ensured that the venue was cleared in 10 minutes without any casualties.
"It was executed well," a senior fire department officer told The Indian Express. "Avoiding panic or a stampede-like situation was the first priority. People were evacuated through various exits."
"We had conducted a fire safety audit at the venue four days ago and a comprehensive disaster management plan was designed for the evening. A debriefing session was also held before the event. All dignitaries and performers were aware of the various emergency exits. This led to swift evacuation. There was no traffic trouble too," explained Fadnavis.
As many as 14 fire tenders and 10 water tanks were used to douse the fire. Six ambulances were also brought to the venue, Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Deshmukh told The Indian Express.
"All civic, government and private hospitals in the area were put on alert," he added.
As part of the initial disaster management plan, four fire engines and two ambulances were already present at the venue.
The 5,000 VVIPs were seated only 50 metres or so away when the fire started and they were the first ones to be evacuated.