MUMBAI, Feb 15, 2016:
A huge fire gutted a stage at a cultural event in Mumbai on Sunday, which was part of the Indian government’s much talked about “Make in India” week.
The massive blaze broke out shortly after Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan had read a poem at the event, which was being held on the popular Chowpatty beach in the south of India’s commercial capital.
Thousands of people, including Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, had to be evacuated after the fire started around 8pm (14:30 GMT).
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
“Fourteen fire engines, 10 water tankers, and all senior fire officers are on site. Fire now totally under control. Programme called off,” Fadnavis tweeted around 9.15pm.
“Very unfortunate occurrence of fire in cultural program organised by GoM at Mumbai. No casualties reported, no one is injured,” he added.
He said the “venue was evacuated immediately” and that “a comprehensive inquiry into the incidence of fire will be conducted to ascertain reasons”.
Deputy commissioner of Mumbai police Dhananjay Kulkarni also said there were no reports of any casualties.
The event was celebrating Maharashtra culture as part of India’s “Make in India” week, which is aimed at attracting investments to the country and is running in the western city of Mumbai from Feb 13 to 18.
“Initially we thought it (the flames) were part of the performance, then we realised it wasn’t part of the plan,” Prasoon Joshi, an Indian lyricist who was at the event, told NDTV news channel.