Mumbai: Flying embers from lit hookahs at Mojo’s Bistro restaurant are the reason behind the Kamala Mills fire incident that claimed 14 lives, a Fire Department report established on Friday. The department, in its report, said the restaurants did not have any permission to serve hookahs. The report further highlighted that at least 200 people were gathered at Mojo’s Bistro and 1Above at the time of the incident.
The report states that after the fire broke out, people rushed towards the lifts but finding them non-functional they took stairs for safe evacuation. Enraged fire at 1Above restaurant compelled people to take shelter in a toilet to protect themselves from fire and smoke, the report added. Subsequently, 14 people died due to asphyxia or suffocation. Importantly, it added that the staff of the restaurant were not aware of the safety exit route. One of the security personnel was found dead in the toilet of the restaurant.
Earlier in the day, the Mumbai Police had declared a reward of Rs 1 lakh for giving clues of absconding owners of the restaurants. However, the owners of the 1Above restaurant have said that they cannot be held responsible for the tragic incident as the fire erupted from the Mojo’s Bistro.
Calling the investigations ‘biased’, the owners of 1Above restaurant objected against the police for preventing the insurers from entering the premises to survey since they (police) “are scared that the officials from the insurance company will discover the fire had erupted at The Mojo’s Bistro, and that evidence is still lying and not collected, or that evidence is destroyed”.
However, a complainant had alleged the owners of restaurants were insolent and did not comply to the rules of the municipal corporation for operating a restaurant in open premises.