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Death exposes fire dept's poor state.

THE death of fireman Nitin Ivalekar in the Mumbai building fire on Friday has brought forth serious issues concerning safety procedures in the Greater Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

Ivalekar died after he got separated from a group of firemen who had climbed 21 stories to douse the fire. Unfortunately, the building fire equipment was not operational.

"Why were 33 firemen sent to the 21st floor for assessment? When there was no fire fighting mechanism, how were the firemen supposed to extinguish the flames?" said an irate relative of Ivalekar on Saturday.

The family of the deceased had brought back the body to fire headquarters at Byculla in Mumbai and demanded written undertaking from the department for better equipment.

Mumbai's chief fire officer A. N. Verma claimed that there were adequate breathing apparatus. However, speaking to M AIL T ODAY , he said that only 15- 20 firemen had taken the apparatus.

The breathing apparatus has capacity to provide air for about 90 minutes, which would provide enough time to reach safety. In case of Ivalekar, sources say that he would died of asphyxiation by inhaling the smoke and then fire charred his body.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 20, 2014
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