(AFP) – Jun 21, 2012
MUMBAI — A huge fire broke out at the state government headquarters in Mumbai Thursday, killing two people and injuring 16 as it engulfed the building's upper floors, reports in India said.
Fire engines and emergency teams rushed to the scene in the city's southern business district and two bodies had been recovered, the Press Trust of India (PTI) said, quoting fire brigade officials.
Television footage showed people being taken out of the building on stretchers. Earlier pictures had shown several people on balconies, desperate to be saved by rescue workers using ladders as smoke billowed across the city.
Sixty-five people trapped on the fifth and sixth floors were evacuated by firefighters, Relief and Rehabilitation Secretary Pravin Pardeshi said.
Navy helicopters also joined the rescue operation after the blaze broke out in the afternoon and raged for several hours, with flames fanned by the sea breeze.
The building is the headquarters of the government of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, and the chief minister's office was among those damaged in the blaze.
The PTI news agency said the fire, which began on the fourth floor and quickly spread to the top of the seven-floor building, was suspected to have been caused by an electrical short-circuit.
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