The massive fire which had engulfed shanties in the Garibnagar Slum in the Behrampada area in Bandra east is now under control and the cooling process is underway.
— ANI (@ANI) October 26, 2017
The fire broke out at around 4.20 pm when municipal officials were carrying out an anti-encroachment drive outside the busy station, with flames rising over a part of the overhead bridge on the east side of Bandra railway station. Huge tufts of smokes could be seen billowing over the Bandra station and four people were injured, according to The Financial Express. Train services on the Harbour line, between Wadala and Andheri stations were temporarily non-operational due to the fire. However, all train services have now resumed services. The skywalk which had caught fire has been shut completely to avoid any mishaps.
Bandra station is a crucial juncture point where Harbour and Western lines of Mumbai local train services converge. The flames also touched the windows of the booking office at the south side foot overbridge (FOB) of the station.
The hawkers and slum-dwellers bore most of the brunt, losing their belongings to the fire. "Some furniture and windows of the booking office at the south side FOB at the Bandra station got damaged due to the fire from the nearby slums...No casualty to railway staffers or passengers was reported," a statement from the Western
According to The Indian Express, the cause of the fire was not known immediately, however, CNN-News18 reported that the fire was caused due to a series of cylinder blasts during a demolition drive at the slum area. Locals, speaking to Times Now, alleged that the Mumbai civic body officials did not remove the household stuff properly before the demolition drive, which caused the blast in gas cylinders. The locals also reported that they heard at least seven to eight blasts before massive flames could be seen billowing metres away from the Bandra station.
However, the exact reason and extent of property loss would be known only after a detailed inquiry, officials said.
NDTV reported that the fire was classified as level IV, the second highest level of severity, and 17 water tankers and 9 fire engines were pressed into service to douse the massive blaze. But heavy traffic and narrow roads had made it difficult for the fire vehicles to reach the spot.
This was not the first time that a fire has broken out in the densely populated area. Apart from several small instances of fire reported from the area, a major fire had broken out in 2011 at the same slum, as reported by NDTV. Although no deaths were reported, nine people had got injured at the time.
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Updated Date: Oct 27, 2017 18:26:22 IST