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Maharashtra Mantralaya fire: Forensic report rules out sabotage

July 1, 2012 - New Delhi

A forensic report on Sunday ruled out sabotage as the cause behind the recent fire at the Mantralaya, the Maharashtra Government secretariat in Mumbai.

The report by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) stated that no extraneous incendiary material was found inside the Mantralaya building during their investigation.

"Thereby prima facie we rule out sabotage as the cause of the fire," the report said.

The huge fire broke out at the Mantralaya building on June 21. It took an entire night and day for the fire to be doused.

The fire, which broke out in the fourth floor of the building, spread through and fifth and sixt floors, gutting property and several files, some of them very important. The fire claimed the lives of five persons.

The damaged parts of the government office, included the deputy chief minister's office. The chief minister's office is also in the same building, but was not damaged by the fire.

At least 21 fire engines were rushed while rescue teams were also deployed to ensure that the trapped employees are safely evacuated.

Maharashtra Government employees returned to work at Mantralaya on June 25.

Fire safety regulations are lax, rarely implemented and not periodically reviewed in India, which results in the breaking of major fires, resulting in the loss of life and property.


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