Firefighters have managed to rescue 20 people using an aerial ladder after a fire broke out at the MTNL telephone exchange building in Mumbai’s SV Road in suburban Bandra on Monday afternoon.
Efforts were on to rescue the around 40 more people trapped, mostly on the terrace of the nine-floor telephone exchange building in western suburb Bandra, an official said.
Earlier, it was feared that nearly 100 persons may be trapped on the terrace of the building.
Two fire brigade personnel, who were exposed to the smoke billowing out of the building, were shifted to nearby hospital for treatment.
Fire is confined to the third and fourth floors, the official said. All those on the terrace are safe and will be rescued soon, he added.
There is no clear picture yet about those on the third and fourth floors, he said.
“We came down from the fifth floor via lift. We saw fire brigade personnel bringing out some people from a smoke- filled floor,” a woman said.
Another woman who also managed to come out of the building, said,“When we came to know of the fire, we searched for the staircase, which had become partially invisible due to heavy smoke.”
“We had closed the windows and doors of our office.
Fire brigade people came and rescued us,” she said. There were still six to seven persons on the floor from where she was rescued, she added.
Fire broke out at around 3 pm at the MTNL building, which incidentally is located near a fire brigade centre in suburban Bandra.
As it is a working day, many persons, mostly MTNL employees, were present inside the building, he said.
Fourteen fire engines and other equipment, including a robot van and an ambulance, is engaged in fire fighting, he said.
Fire fighting and rescue operations is in progress and efforts to rescue people stranded on upper floors and terrace of the building are on, he said.
Visuals on TV channels showed smoke billowing from the building and people on the terrace trying to signal those below.
(With PTI inputs)