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MTNL building fire: Internet, telephone services hit

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Internet and telephone services in suburban Bandra and nearby areas were affected due to the massive fire at the MTNL building here, the state-run telecom company said on Tuesday.

Efforts were on to restore the services affected due to the cables and other equipment getting burnt in the fire in the nine-storey Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd's (MTNL) building on Monday, it said.

The building houses MTNL's telephone exchange.

"Due to the fire in the building, the telephone and internet services of customers in Bandra Reclamation, Kalanagar, Kherwadi, Pali Hill and some other surrounding areas have been affected," the MTNL said in a statement.

"The services are likely to be restored in seven to eight days.

The MTNL expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to customers and requested them to support the telecom company in its hour of crisis and continue to have faith in its services.

The fire broke out at the building on Monday afternoon and up to 100 people, 84 of them stranded on its terrace, were rescued in one of the biggest operations in recent times, Mumbai fire brigade chief P S Rahangdale said.

Over two dozen machines and equipment, including fire engines, special hydraulic ladders, jumbo water tankers, robofire (a robot), rescue van and breathing set vans, were used for the rescue operation that lasted for several hours, he said.

A fire brigade team was still carrying out cooling operations, another official said, adding they hope to complete the exercise by evening.

The blaze was confined to office cabins, records, furniture, computers, server room, wooden racks, windows, doors, UPS batteries, electrical wirings and switch gears, among others, on the second, third, fifth, seventh and eighth floors, Rahangdale said.

"Though the fire was brought under control on Monday evening, the cooling operations are still underway to ward off the smoke and eliminate any chances of a blaze," he said.

He lauded fire brigade personnel for working hard to save lives of those trapped in the building after the fire.

"It was quite satisfying to see our personnel working so hard, beyond the call of duty, to save lives. Our men showed immense bravery and presence of mind while marching into the fire-hit building where the temperature was over 800 degree Celsius coupled with poisonous gases," he said.

"I am happy to see that everything went well during the rescue operation," the official said.

Asked why the robot deployed at the site did not perform as expected, he said it did a "satisfactory" job.

"The robot's job was quite satisfactory. Its handler did not get enough space to manoeuvre it," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 23 2019. 16:51 IST