Mumbai: A major fire broke out in Maharashtra state secretariat on Thursday afternoon. The fire was reported from the cabin of Maharashtra state minister and NCP leader Babanrao Pachpute. Several people are reported to be trapped inside the building.
According to Relief Works Minister Patangrao Kadam, the fire broke out due to a short circuit.
While two people have been admitted to a hospital due to suffocation, several others are still trapped inside the building.
Thick smoke was seen outside the windows of the fourth floor of the building and no causalities have been reported so far.
The offices of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, the Deputy Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary have been gutted by the fire. Chavan, it was reported, was not present in his office at the time of the incident.
Though reports suggested that files related to the Adarsh Housing Society scam could also be lost in the fire, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) dismissed them saying the files were safe in their possession.
Sixteen fire tenders were rushed to the spot and efforts have been on to douse the fire. Navy helicopters and anti-terrorist unit force one have also been rushed for the rescue operations.
Maharashtra Chief Secretary ordered immediate evacuation of the entire building, sources said.
Thousands of officials at Mantralaya, which houses the state Secretariat, were seen standing outside as fire fighters battled the blaze, which was suspected to have been caused by a short-circuit.
State Forest Minister Patang Rao said, "I am confident that all the important files will be safe and intact."
The eyewitnesses said that the fire broke out around 3 pm and now the area has been cordoned off.
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