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Massive fire kills 14 people in Mumbai restaurant

Police said they were investigating the cause of the fire.

India Building Fire Police officers examines the charred restaurant. Source: PA Images

AT LEAST 14 people were killed when a huge blaze tore through a popular restaurant in Mumbai earlier this morning, police said, in the latest disaster to raise concerns over fire safety in India.

Many of the victims were young women who were attending a birthday party on the rooftop when the fire broke out. Doctors said they died of asphyxiation, apparently as they tried to flee the burning building.

Local media reported that a false ceiling had collapsed in the four-storey building in the Indian financial capital, trapping people inside as they tried to escape.

The fire was extinguished in the early hours but an AFP reporter at the scene said the rooftop where the party was taking place had been gutted.

“Fourteen people have succumbed to their injuries and remaining victims have been discharged from the KEM hospital. Most of the deaths were due to asphyxiation,” Avinash Supe, dean of local KEM hospital told AFP.

Case filed

Police said they were investigating the cause of the fire, and had filed a preliminary case against the restaurant’s owners.

Eleven of the victims were female partygoers, according to authorities.

Television footage of the latest disaster showed fire engines and emergency teams rushing to the scene as the building was being consumed by flames and dark plumes of smoke rose into the night sky.

India Building Fire Fire fighters outside the blaze. Source: PA Images

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “anguished by the fire in Mumbai”.

“My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief. I pray that those injured recover quickly,” he said.

Firefighter Sanjay Hiwarle told reporters the blaze was brought under control during the night and a “cooling operation” was under way.

Earlier this month a fire swept through a sweet shop in Mumbai, sparking a building collapse which killed 12 sleeping workers.

In September, a gas cylinder exploded in an unfinished building in Mumbai killing six people.

© – AFP 2017

Read: At least 12 people, including one-year-old baby, killed in New York apartment fire >

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