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Mumbai Kamala Mills Fire: Women Pushed Into Men's Washroom, Suffocated to Death, Say Eyewitness

According to eyewitness accounts, in the ensuing chaos after the fire broke out, several women got pushed into the men’s washroom, which had no ventilation outlet.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:December 29, 2017, 12:32 PM IST
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Mumbai Kamala Mills Fire: Women Pushed Into Men's Washroom, Suffocated to Death, Say Eyewitness
Family members transport the body of victim killed in the fire in Mumbai on Friday. (Reuters)
Mumbai: Eleven women were among 14 people killed in a massive fire near the London Taxi Gastrobar in Mumbai’s Kamala Mills Compound early on Friday.

The fire broke out around 12:30am on the top floor of a four-storied building in the commercial hub which houses several restaurants, pubs and offices of television channels. The massive fire quickly engulfed the entire building after it started at a rooftop restaurant and raged for several hours before it could be brought under control.

According to eyewitness accounts, in the ensuing chaos after the fire broke out, several women entered the men’s washroom, which had no ventilation outlet.

“My sister Preeti Rajgariya, 48, was there to have dinner with her daughter Ruchi. They started rushing out when they got to know of the fire, but got separated. Her daughter ran down the staircase, but my sister was stuck in the washroom and died of suffocation,” the victim’s brother Ajay Agarwal told CNN-News18.



Dr Sulbha KG Arora, a Mumbai doctor who was at one of the restaurants when the fire broke out and managed to come out safely, spoke to CNN-News18 and said, “We were running helter-skelter to look for an exit when the fire broke out. I saw some women entering a washroom. The fire was spreading to other parts of the building every minute and there was a stampede-like situation.”

Arora, who sounded very disturbed, added, “The restaurant staff helped us find a back exit which led us to safety. They helped us and waited for all of us to move out of the building. I don’t think I would be alive today had they not helped us at the back exit as the front exit was too crowded.”

Fire department officials had earlier told CNN-News18 that they had to break through glass panes to first allow for ventilation and then proceed with the rescue operations.

A Reuters report said many women who died were attending a birthday party at the rooftop restaurant. The 28-year-old woman celebrating her birthday was among those who died, her grandfather told Reuters.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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