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Mantralaya fire: Toll rises to 5, many missing

Jun 22, 2012 09:05 AM IST India India

Mumbai: The fire at the Mantralaya building which houses the state secretariat in Mumbai has finally been doused. Firefighters worked through the night on Thursday to bring the blaze under control. With the recovery of two more bodies on Friday morning the death toll has risen to five, one of whom is yet to be identified. Several people are still believed to be missing.

Over 3,000 people were evacuated to safety. The focus now is on the cooling operation which will take about 48 hours. The Chief secretary has directed the PWD to carry out structural audit once the building is declared safe by the fire department. The Maharashtra Chief Minister has called an emergency meeting.

But it could be a while before the building can be re-occupied. The power supply cannot be restored until all electricals are checked because water has seeped into the wiring. The fire gutted files in the offices of the Chief Minister and his deputy.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has asked the Crime Branch to investigate the incident. But the Opposition wants an independent probe as it suspects a sabotage angle as key files related to Adarsh and other scams were kept in the secretariat.

The CBI had, however, said on Thursday that all the Adarsh related files were with it.