Mumbai: On hearing the fire alarm and reports of fiery sparks from the 19th floor of the 61-storey residential building, One Avighna Park, Currey Road, the security guard on duty, Arun Tiwari, 30, rushed to help. However, in a tragic turn of events, it was he who fell to his death from the 19th floor, desperately trying to save himself from the rapidly spreading conflagration.
The shocking video of a panic-stricken Tiwari struggling to hold on for dear life as he dangled from the balcony of the 19th floor of the high-rise but eventually losing his grip and falling went viral on social media.
Tiwari had been working at One Avighna Park for the last five years and rushed to help the people in Flat No. 1902, according to his colleagues. However, he became the one who was trapped on the 19th floor, where the fire had erupted. After he fell, he was rushed to the KEM hospital nearby, where he was declared brought dead. According to his brother younger brother Vinay, Tiwari was from Uttar Pradesh and had been working in Mumbai for the past nine years. He lived in a rented house in Matunga. “I am still studying and have no job, yet. He was the only earning member of our family. The video that was shown across new channels, made its way to out native places via social media and calls started pouring in from relatives and friends, I had no idea what to tell them. My mother and other relatives including my uncles are on their way to Mumbai. They will bring him back home, where the last rites will be performed,” said a grief-stricken Vinay.
The fire broke out at around 11.51am on the 19th floor of the tower. It was initially classified as ‘Level 3’ but was later upgraded to a ‘Level-4' (massive) fire at 12.44pm. The fire brigade team rushed to the spot with 14 fire engines and nine jumbo tankers.
“A thirty-year-old man, identified as Arun Tiwari, was declared brought dead,” said Dr Pravin Bangar, deputy dean, KEM Hospital.
Fire brigade officials said that 26 people were safely rescued with no injuries. “After the fire broke out, Arun Tiwari, a security guard of the building, rushed to the 19th floor, only to find that he was trapped and in order to save himself from the blaze, he went to the balcony of the flat, where the fire started. He clung to the balcony railing, struggling to hold on for a few minutes before losing his grip and falling to his death. We spoke to several staff present at the spot,” said a Mumbai fire brigade official.
“The cause of the fire is tentatively believed to be due to a short-circuit is being probed,” said Chief Fire Officer Hemant Parab. The building reportedly had all fire-safety measures in place, according to the residents of the building and the developer, Kailash Agrawal, who is currently at Dubai.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar, who rushed to the spot, said that the unfortunate incident of the death of a security guard happened due to a lack of proper training. She stressed that the untimely death of the security guard could have been averted, had quick and timely measures been taken. “Private security agencies provide personnel, however, do they train them or employ trained guards? Nobody knows this. The death of a 30-year-old security guard, Arun Tiwari, who fell to his death from the 19th floor of One Avighna Park, has once again highlighted the urgent need to train security guards. I was informed that that there were 15 minutes to take the necessary steps. Had the other staff/ guards on duty rushed and caught him in a bedsheet below or put mattresses on the floor, he might have survived,” Pednekar said.
She added, “Taking this as an example and to prevent such shocking and unfortunate incidents, I am going to highlight the need for employing trained security guards with a basic knowledge of fire safety drills and other safety measures.”