News headlines

Spot report by Viju Mangalore for Daijiworld

Mangalore, Feb 14: After over eight hours of tireless efforts by the fire brigade, police personnel, Mangalore City Corporation water supply and private water supply agencies and the general public, the devastating fire that engulfed a plastic godown on the top-most floor of Linking Towers situated between Central Theatre and Lady Goschen Hospital was overpowered. A loss of goods and property worth Rs 60 lac is estimated.

Hundreds of gallons of water was used to complete this mammoth task, which was a collective venture. Two sky lifts were deployed and the fire forces were augmented with those of the MRPL and MCF, which were summoned.

A strategic approach by the police personnel resulted in reducing the traffic and facilitating the fire extinguishing work. By blocking the movement of people and vehicles to the area, the police facilitated in overpowering the fire extinguishing operation. On scene were around six Mangalore City Corporation councilors and Mayor K Ashraf who made necessary arrangements like lights and generators.

Praiseworthy is the prompt and quick service of the private water supply agencies that rushed tankers of water to the spot. Sources from the fire brigade informed Daijiworld that over 110 tankers of water was used in the operation.

Unable to withstand the heat, concrete structures on one end of the building began to break. Finally, at around 8 pm the fire service personnel and the public jointly broke the walls of the godown and gained control over the raging flames.

"It was a very harsh lesson that the city corporation has learnt," said Mayor K Ashraf to Daijiworld. The city corporation will discuss in detail the issue of safety in buildings and will also make amendments to the laws related to construction of buildings. Stringent laws will be formed to ensure that all buildings have adequate fire safety measures and compulsorily a no objection certificate from the fire department. Sky lifters will be stationed in several places of the city and a separate water pipeline will be laid which will be used only during emergencies, he informed.

Eyewitnesses have even blamed the fire brigade for not responding effectively to put off the fire at the initial stages. The people pointed out a lack of co-ordination between the functionaries of the fire department.

Among all who volunteered to help in the operation were the neighbouring traders and Hotel Taj Mahal, which provided food and refreshments to hungry firemen and volunteers.

The major mishap in the city has left the residents shell-shocked, as it is for the first time that most of them witnessed such huge flames engulfing the entire top-most floor of the shopping mall situated in the heart of the city.  The thick smoke that surrounded the city like dark clouds was a witness to one of the worst tragedies that the city has seen in recent times.

The tragedy has left a big question mark regarding the fire safety measures in the multi-storied buildings.  There have often been complaints of foul play in the construction of these buildings.  But the builders manage to sail smoothly, thanks to some political connections.  But this time around it is as if the entire city has woken up to realize the gravity of ‘builders lobby’.  Hopes are high that at least now the city corporation and other concerned departments as well as persons would take necessary steps for the safety of people.

Earlier Report:


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