Suffocation, and not the blaze itself, was the cause of death of all the victims of a fire that broke out in Mumbai’s Kamala Mills Compound on Thursday night, doctors said after the autopsy. A proper evacuation plan could have saved the lives, Dr Harish Pathak, the forensic department head at KEM Hospital, told ANI.
At least 14 people were killed and over a dozen injured after the fire.
“Almost all died due to asphyxiation, and none of them have died due to flames, but due to fumes,” Pathak said.
Dr Rajesh Dhere, who conducted the autopsy, told News18 that if the victims were not confined to a room without any ventilation, they could have been alive. “There were only minor abrasions on their bodies and people died due to asphyxia,” he said, adding that most of the victims didn’t even have 10% of burn injuries.
A case of culpable homicide has been registered against the restaurant where the fire first broke out, likely because of a short circuit.
Activist Mangesh Kalaskar said he had made several complaints against illegal structures in Kamala Mills premises, but the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had said that there was nothing wrong, ANI reported.
The matter was discussed in the Lok Sabha on Friday. Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai South, Arvind Sawant, asked for a judicial probe into the incident, and Mumbai North-East MP Kirit Somaiya demanded a thorough audit of such mills, the Hindustan Times reported.
In August, the civic body had taken action against 1 Above and Mojo’s Bistro for illegal construction. The civic body had demolished a part of an extension of the terrace that is common to both the restaurants, the Hindustan Times reported.