Huge fire engulfs India state HQ in Mumbai


An onlooker uses his mobile phone to take pictures of the burning Mantralaya building, which houses the Maharashtra state secretariat, in Mumbai on June 21, 2012.



A huge fire has broken out at the Maharashtra state government headquarters in the Indian city of Mumbai, injuring at least 11 people, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of employees, and gutting three of the building’s seven floors.

According to the BBC, some people remain trapped inside the building, as more than 20 fire engines continue to battle the blaze. It is not clear how it began, but some media reports say an electrical short-circuit caused a fire to break out on the fourth floor of the building, which spread to the sixth floor.

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Mumbai is India’s commercial and entertainment capital, and the building is located in the city’s southern business district. At least 11 people have been hospitalized, while TV stations have broadcast images showing people being carried away on stretchers, according to the Associated Press. The news agency reported that a strong breeze coming in from the sea fanned the blaze.

Other TV pictures showed several employees standing on balconies seeking rescue as navy helicopters flew overhead, according to the Agence France Presse.