Probe Into 'Make In India' Stage Fire To Include Sabotage Angle

15/02/2016 11:01 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Hindustan Times via Getty Images
MUMBAI, INDIA - FEBRUARY 14: A massive fire broke out during a 'Make in India week' cultural programme at Maharashtra Night at Girgaum Chowpatty on February 14, 2016 in Mumbai, India. The fire broke out almost 10 minutes after Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis delivered his speech at the event, during a lavani performance. The stage collapsed under the impact of the fire. However, no casualties were reported and the venue, at the Girgaum Chowpatty area, was evacuated very soon. Around 16 fire tenders put out the fire in 10 minutes. No casualties have been reported yet. Prime Minister Modi had inaugurated the Make in India Week yesterday as a showcase event for the government's flagship manufacturing scheme. (Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

MUMBAI -- All aspects including sabotage angle will be investigated while ascertaining the cause of the massive fire that gutted the stage during a cultural programme at the Make in India Week event here last night attended by many VIPs, an official said today.

Fire brigade authority has begun an inquiry into the blaze.

"We will probe all aspects, including finding out if there was a sabotage angle involved," a fire brigade official said.

No casualties were reported as the venue at the Girgaum Chowpatty area was emptied within minutes.

Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray were attending the event when fire broke out gutting the stage.

The blaze broke out of sparklers during a Lavani performance on the stage at around 8.15 PM. Around 10,000 people were present at that time.

Calling the incident "unfortunate", Fadnavis had said the fire was soon brought under control and the people were evacuated immediately while traffic management allowed early dispersal without any trouble.

He said a comprehensive inquiry into the incidence of fire will be conducted to ascertain the reasons.

Set designer Nitin Chandrakant Desai ruled out any flaw in sets which could have led to the blaze.

"A fire audit will ascertain reasons but I am sure it was not due to the sets," he said.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the ambitious Make in India Week in the city exhorting global business giants to set bases in the country.

Meanwhile, RTI activist Anil Galgali alleged that safety was compromised at the Make In India Week cultural event.

"Mumbai Police and Fire Brigade should lodge FIR of negligence against the event organiser," Galgali said.

However, event organiser Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt Ltd has said in a statement that prior to the event all safety checks and audits were done.

"All fire and safety norms prescribed were followed.

We are grateful for the help from the Maharashtra government and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his team, who stayed at the venue right till the end to ensure the venue was evacuated and reviewed the site in detail post the fire was doused," it said.

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