Crystal Tower did not have ‘Occupation Certificate’ from BMC, builder arrested

Crystal Tower did not have 'Occupation Certificate' from BMC, builder arrested
The fire at Crystal Tower left four dead and 21 injured

Police have arrested the builder in connection with the massive blaze that broke out at Crystal Tower in Mumbai’s Parel area, which left four dead and over 20 others injured on Wednesday.

According to officials from Bhoiwada police station, a case of culpable homicide was registered against the developer of the building, Abdul Razak Ismail Supariwala, yesterday evening and he was arrested later at night.

“The developer has been booked under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others),” Deputy Commissioner of Police N Ambika said.

Supariwala was also booked under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Act 2006.

In an official statement, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stated that the building did not have the mandatory Occupation Certificate (OC) that is issued by the civic body. Despite that, 58 flats owners had moved in and were living in it.

The BMC had also issued a notice to the builder and the 58 occupants to vacate the building within seven days back in October 2016. However, the order was challenged in the court and is still sub-judice.

The blaze erupted on the 12th floor of the 17-storey Crystal Tower building, located near Hindmata Cinema, and the fire brigade was alerted about it around 8:30 am.

It took over three hours and 20 fire tenders to control the Level IV blaze. “Since the building was without OC, its firefighting system was not in the place,” Mumbai Fire Brigade chief P S Rahangdale said.

After the blaze was brought under control, the fire department conducted a preliminary analysis and declared the building ‘unsafe’.

Four people, including an elderly woman, were killed and 21 suffered injuries in the fire – the exact cause of which is still unknown.

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