Fire rages through top floors of under construction building; doused after 9-hour battle

Kochi,May 6 (PTI) A fire swept through the higher floors of the North Tower of the Sands Infinit Twin Tower, an under construction project located inside SmartCity Kochi campus, last night, resulting in damage to the automatic climbing units, and was brought under control Wednesday by a fleet of fire tenders that worked through the night to douse the blaze.

The fire erupted close to 10 pm on Tuesday at the project that is being developed by the co-developer M/s Sands Infrabuild Private Limited, and was brought under control at 7 am today.

In a statement, SmartCity Kochi CEO Manoj Nair said the co-developer M/s Sands Infrabuild Private Limited along with their main contractor Tata Projects Limited and the project management consultant M/s CBRE South Asia Pvt Ltd involved with the project are conducting a detailed investigation to identify the root cause of the incident.

The fire began at the automatic climbing units comprising formwork and platforms that were installed between floors 22 and 24 of the said tower, resulting in damage to the units.

The formworks were in place for undertaking scheduled concreting works on the 23rd floor on Wednesday.

'Initial attempts with site fire extinguishing resources were made by the personnel present at the site.However, the strong wind conditions aggravated the fire.

Led by the Fire & Rescue team, the officials of SmartCity Kochi, Sands Infrabuild and the Main Contractor Tata Projects Limited worked through the night to bring the situation under control this morning,' Nair said.

The height at which the fire erupted posed challenge to the Fire & Rescue team who explored all options to bring the situation under control.

A water tanking approach was adopted on the 17th floor from where water was pumped to douse the fire by early morning.

Accordingly, the access to the North Tower construction site was restored by 8 am on Wednesday.

'The construction workers had left the site by 7 pm on May 5.No harm was caused to any personnel by way of injury or otherwise in this incident.

Similarly, there are no damages or disruption caused to other co-developments and areas, including services inside SmartCity Kochi campus,' the official noted.

Nair said damage assessment to the automatic climbing units, coupled with structural assessment of already installed structural elements, would be undertaken before works could re-commence on the North Tower.

Further, no damage was caused to the South Tower and, accordingly, construction on the South Tower will continue as before.

All parties involved are discussing the future construction approaches and measures to be initiated to mitigate the delay, including fast-tracking the construction of the South Tower, he added.PTI TGB BN WELCOME BN WELCOME