Mantralaya fire doused; cooling operation to continue

Over 12 hours after its broke out, the massive fire which engulfed Mantralaya (the state Secretariat building) was doused early on Friday.

However, fire brigades said the cooling operation will continue for next two days. "The fire has been doused, but the cooling operation will continue for the next two days," fire brigade officer S V Joshi said.

Asked if there was proper fire fighting equipments in place at Mantralaya, Joshi said such equipment was in place but added he could not say whether it was in working condition or not.

"The fire fighting equipment was there but was of no use to us," he said. On reports that important documents have been destroyed in the fire, Employment Guarantee Scheme Minister Nitin Raut said over three lakh files in Mantralaya have already been scanned and they are on the main server.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has already announced the crime branch enquiry into the incident on Thursday.

However, opposition leaders have sought an enquiry to find out if fire was due to sabotage. Meanwhile, there are reports that urn containing Pandit Nehru ashes, kept in the sixth floor of Mantralaya, has been damaged in the incident.

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