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A major fire broke out at a scrapyard in Mumbai’s Mankhurd area in the eastern suburbs early on Friday. No one was injured in the incident, disaster management officials said.

The blaze erupted around 4.15 am at the scrap market on Veer Jijamata Bhosale Marg. Heavy smoke engulfed the area even as the Mumbai Fire Brigade struggled to control the fire.

At least 10 fire engines and water tankers were rushed to the spot. The fire was brought under control over four hours later by around 8.42 am.

A fire brigade official said the blaze was confined to seven to eight shops in the market where various types of scrap and electric installation material, including empty chemical drums, was stored.

The area has a scrapyard spread over an acre and houses over 1,000 godowns. Most of these godowns are unauthorised and store scrap and inflammable material such as oil and chemicals much over the prescribed limit. The area, known as Kurla yard, has been leased out by the state government for the scrapyard, metal and paper mart.

After a fire broke out at the scrapyard in February this year, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar blamed the unauthorised storage of massive amounts of inflammable material in the area.

According to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act (Section 394), owners have to obtain a trade and storage licence for using the structure as a godown. It needs to be checked if the godowns are storing combustible material and if it is within the prescribed quantity. If the quantity exceeds the limit, the owners will be taken to court. However, no action has been taken against the illegal godowns in Mankhurd.

This is not the first major fire at the Mandala scrapyard. In June last year, a level-3 fire was reported from the area. In 2018, a major blaze gutted nearly 100 commercial structures.

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