Mumbai: A major fire broke out in the Maharashtra secretariat, known as the Mantralaya at 2:30 pm today. The fire began in the fourth floor, among the files of the urban development department and then spread to the other floors.
The Chief Minister of Maharastra was also in the building at the time, holding a meeting. The fire is believed to have begun in the cabin of another minister, who evacuated once the fire was detected.
Ambulances and fire tenders rushed to the spot and began to evacuate those trapped by the flames. The smoke from the blaze on the fourth floor engulfed two upper floors of the building as well.
No casualties have been reported so far as the building was evacuated soon after fire was noticed although complete evacuaton is assumed, but not assured. There still may be some people trapped by the blaze.
Thousands of officials at Mantralaya, which houses the state Secretariat, were seen standing outside as fire fighters battled the blaze, which was suspected to have been caused by a short-circuit.
Contingents of the state's elite commando squad Force One and city police's Quick Response Team arrived at the spot amid reports that some people were still trapped on the terrace of the Mantralaya.
"The Force One and QRTs are assisting the fire brigade teams in carrying out rescue operations," a police official said.The fire department later gave a statement that considered the evacuation complete and were tackling the fire.