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Navy, Coast Guard helicopter rescue firemen trapped by fire in Mumbai high-rise

Mumbai, Jul 18 (PTI): Fire brigade, Navy and Coast Guard personnel were battling to rescue firemen trapped by fire on the terrace of a 22-storey commercial building in western Mumbai suburb on Friday.

An official of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) said that around 15-20 fire fighters were stuck on the terrace of Lotus Business Park on Andheri Link road.

Navy and Coast Guard helicopters had to lower ropes on the rooftop to extricate the stranded firemen.

An unspecified number of fire fighters were rescued after showers reduced the intensity of the blaze that had forced them to cling precariously to railings and scaffoldings of the glass-facade tower.

Helicopters were called in after gusty winds fanned the fire making the evacuation of the fire fighters impossible by any other means.

According to fire brigade officials, 22 fire engines, 10 water tankers and 6 jetties have been deployed to quell the blaze.

“We have also requested the Thane Municipal Corporation and the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation and others to provide additional fire engines to help us bring the fire under control,” the officer said.        

“We had initially categorised the fire at Grade 2 and sent 12 fire engines to the spot. The strong winds at the top further aggravated the intensity of the flames and we have now further upgraded the fire to the top notch,” the official said.

According to officials, the blaze started on the 21st floor of the building around 11:30am and soon spread to the 20th floor.

There were no reports of any civilian casualties yet as people working in the offices were quickly evacuated by the fire brigade.

“We got a request from the fire brigade to provide aerial help to the firemen who have been stuck on the 22 storey commercial building. The Indian Navy has deployed a Sea King helicopter and the Coast Guard a Chetak to rescue them,” a Navy spokesperson told PTI.