This weekend, a huge stage fire absolutely destroyed equipment, structure, and pretty much everything that it could consume, in Mumbai during a political rally. These videos are unreal – pay particular attention to the rigging of the gear as it is on fire.
Fortunately, the news is saying no one was reported hurt. Bollywood rockstars Amitabh Bachchan (who tweeted a TON during the fire) and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were on stage moments before the fire began:
From an article at The Indian Express:
The fire started just after the performance of actor Amitabh Bachchan. It spread rapidly, spread by a strong wind till the whole stage – a creation of Bollywood set designer Nitin Desai — was gutted.
“I was waiting in my make-up van. My performance was in an hour. Then my staff told me that there is a fire. So, I stepped out to see. And sure enough the stage was on fire. And it’s so windy the fire spread at an alarming speed,” said actor Aamir Khan.
“The event was underway when fire broke out, we ran to save our lives. We don’t know the reason for the fire,” said an eyewitness.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Make in India Week yesterday as a showcase event for the government’s flagship manufacturing scheme.
Ugh. Look at this:
Some photos — the initial post was here at ProLightingSpace, check it out:
From an article at The Hindu — heads up, this link sucks in Chrome for some reason.
Around 8.20 p.m. on Sunday, fire broke out under the stage when a troupe of dancers was performing on the stage. Police personnel immediately rushed towards the stage bringing the performance to a halt. The strong evening wind fanned the fire and within seconds the entire stage along with the strobe lights were engulfed in a billowing blaze. Sounds of explosions were heard due to the presence of gas cylinders at the venue.
Chaos reigned, and within minutes thousands of spectators who were spread over the beach enclosure made a quick dash for the exits and were evacuated from the spot. The Mumbai Police and Mumbai Fire Brigade took control of the evacuation and of dousing the fire respectively.
Four fire tenders were at the spot and 14 more were rushed to Chowpatty, along with 10 water tankers and eight jumbo tankers. The police barricaded the area and diverted traffic. Chief Fire officer P. Rahangdale said the fire was controlled in 38 minutes. Around 8:56 pm, Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, told Mr. Fadnavis, “All well.”
The Bombay High Court had denied permission for the event. However, the Maharashtra government sought the Supreme Court’s nod for the event.
A visibly shaken Chief Minister called the incident “extremely unfortunate” and ordered “a comprehensive inquiry” into the cause of the fire. “It is extremely unfortunate as an important cultural event was being held. We began the evacuation process immediately. All the civilians and artists were safely evacuated. A fire audit of the event was conducted four days ago and a disaster management plan was prepared. We have ordered an inquiry into the causes of the fire, to find out if there were any lapses and if SOPs (standard operating procedures) were followed. Further action will be taken based on the probe. There was a spark under the stage and because there was cloth and wood, it spread rapidly,” Mr Fadnavis told reporters.
The incident has cast a shadow on the Make In India Week, the Centre’s big ticket investment programme for Maharashtra, though Mr. Fadnavis assured that it will not impact the event. “A comprehensive inquiry into the incidence of fire will be conducted to ascertain reasons,” Mr. Fadnavis tweeted. “All Make In India programmes will be conducted as scheduled.”