Mumbai: SRA building fire death toll rises to 2

MUMBAI: The death toll in Sunday’s fire incident at an 18-storey Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) building near Mahalaxmi Race Course climbed to two on Friday, as another person succumbed to burn injuries on Friday.

Sources at the civic-run BYL Nair Hospital said that Laxman Wagh, who was in his 60s, died of burn and inhalation injuries. His body was sent for post-mortem examination in the evening.

Wagh didn’t own a flat in Samrat Ashok Society, but had been living there for many years. One of the residents said he used to sleep in the narrow corridor on the first floor of the building.

Of the 30 people injured in the blaze, five were critical, including Wagh and siblings Parth (10) and Pragati Solanki (12). While the siblings are now out of the ICU at Nair, seven others are still under observation.

A couple from the building continue to be under treatment at Bhatia Hospital with severe smoke inhalation injuries, said sources.

A building resident said they don’t know if Wagh had any family or relatives in the city. “He has been living with us since we were on the old premises. He moved with the residents to this new building about seven years ago. He used to sleep in the passage and residents would provide him food,” said Bharat Chavan, who lives in Samrat Ashok Society.

An 82-year-old woman was the first casualty in the fire that broke out in the early hours of Sunday. Residents have blamed the building’s narrow fire-exit stairwell for impeding their escape. Though the fire was contained in the area it started in—two electric ducts on the ground floor—thick smoke spread across the building, making escape difficult for residents.
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