The fire that gutted a textile showroom here has “largely been put out”, as a top central portion of the building collapsed today.
Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister R B Udhaya Kumar said though the fire has largely been put out, minor blaze erupted in some portions of the building which is being doused by fire fighting teams stationed in the premises.
Twelve persons were rescued from the seven storied building, which houses Chennai Silks, a leading textile showroom on the busy Usman Road, when the fire broke out at about 4 am yesterday.
A portion of the building collapsed today due to the heat produced by the blaze and the particular stretch had no supporting pillars and it looked like a conference hall, the minister said.
He said a team, comprising top government officials and experts including one from the IIT Madras have begun assessing the fire ravaged building since morning.
Speaking to reporters after inspecting the structure, he said the next step for the government was to “remove the building without causing any disturbance to commercial and residential buildings in the vicinity.”
Stating that preliminary assessment showed that “pillars were strong and brick walls have cracked,” he said there were several technical methods to bring down the structure.
A decision will be taken on its demolition after the expert team concluded its scrutiny and work will start to “remove” the building, he said.
Lauding fire fighters for putting out the fire risking their lives, he said there was no loss of life due to efforts including declaration of the area as out of bounds for public.
He said the mishap was a “lesson in safety” for all.
About violations in the building construction, the minister said corporation officials were scrutinising it. Appropriate action will be initiated if warranted, he added.