At least 14 people were killed and 19 others were injured when a major fire broke out on late Thursday night at ‘1 Above’ restaurant situated at Central Mumbai’s Kamala Mills compound. Kamala Mills Compound hosts a lot of swanky restaurants, which are a retreat for party goers who love partying till wee hours. The compound also consists of several business establishments and has offices of media outlets like Times Now, Mirror Now, TV9, to name a few.
As per a report, the fire originated from 1 Above’s false ceiling, which was made of highly inflammable dry bamboo. The fire spread quickly and reached next door to Mojo’s Bistro, which is partly owned by Nagpur businessmen Yug Tuli. Son of an IPS officer, who once the Nagpur Commissioner of Police and Shankar Mahadevan’s son Siddhant also reportedly are partners of Mojo’s Bistro. It was only after three hours that firefighters were able to control the fire at both the restaurants, which were completely gutted by then.
As per the police, the deaths were due to suffocation as most people could not find the emergency exists at ‘1 Above.’ Firemen also didn’t find any fire extinguishers in the restaurant. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry post the incident and has said that strict action will be taken against those responsible for this negligence. As per ANI, five BMC officials have already been suspended. The police in the morning also registered an FIR against ‘1 Above’ owners – Kripesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Mankar for not keeping any fire safety equipment, blocking the safety exists and not helping those who were trapped in the fire. They have been charged with sections 304, 337, 338 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Two of these people have already been reportedly detained by the police.
Meanwhile, Mojo’s Bistro has issued a statement which says, ‘We are extremely saddened by the incident. Mojo’s has all its fire safety norms, certificates, and procedures in place. The staff are thoroughly trained in fire drills hence our staff was able to evacuate all our guests and themselves out to safety with zero injuries. There were no cylinders on our premises. We are fully complying with the authorities to help in any way we can. Our prayers and deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in this gruesome incident.’
Mojo’s, which was first started in Bajaj Nagar, Nagpur, by Yug Tuli as Mojo’s Cafe was closed down a few years back as it lacked proper permissions. Yug then took the restaurant to Mumbai’s Vashi and opened another one at Kamala Mills compound. Interestingly, the owners of Mojo’s were reportedly planning the re-opening of the restaurant in Nagpur in January 2018 and the promotional material for the same was also out on social media platforms.