Man leaps to the ground from burning rooftop cafe in Bengaluru, survives

Prem Singh, working as a chef at Mudpipe, was trapped in a corner of the rooftop cafe surrounded by fire, and had no choice but to jump.

ByBellie Thomas

Published Oct 19, 2023 | 12:35 AMUpdatedOct 19, 2023 | 12:34 PM

Fire accident at Mudpipe hookah cafe in Koramangala on Wednesday

A 27-year-old migrant worker from Nepal jumped to the ground from a three-storey building’s rooftop restaurant and hooka parlour in Bengaluru that got engulfed in a massive fire accident on Wednesday, 18 October.

Prem Singh, a resident of JP Nagar and a native of Nepal, sustained grievous injuries but was out of danger, the doctors at a private hospital in the Tilak Nagar area of the city told the police.

He has been working as a chef at the hookah cafe and restaurant named Mudpipe and was the sole person injured in the fire.

He was trapped in a corner of the rooftop cafe as fire surrounded him. Singh had no means or time to run to the exit on the rooftop cafe.

He instead hung on to the parapet wall at the corner of the cafe — avoiding the smoke and fire.

A video of Singh leaping from the rooftop restaurant went viral on social media.

Singh sustained head injuries and multiple fractures to his limbs. However, he is out of danger, doctors at the private hospital confirmed to the police.

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The fire

A massive fire broke out at Mudpipe near Forum Mall in Koramangala under the Sudduguntepalya Police Station limits in Southeast Bengaluru around noon on Wednesday.

While the actual cause of the fire is yet to be officially ascertained by the fire officials, it is now suspected that a leaking gas connection pipe connected to several commercial gas cylinders kept inside the cafe caused the fire.

Two loud explosions rocked the entire area within a span of 10 minutes as the fire started to engulf the entire cafe.

The decors that were hung on the parapet railings caught fire and turned into dripping fireballs.

They damaged parked two-wheelers and a new car that was awaiting delivery to a customer at the Maruthi Suzuki Nexa showroom on the ground floor. There is a gymnasium on the first floor.

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No one else hurt

Police sources said that the restaurant was situated on the rooftop. Just above the kitchen, where there were overhead tanks, there were about 10-15 cylinders, connected to the cooking area below through a pipeline.

Prima facie inquiries revealed leakage on the pipeline around noon, and the fire started in the restaurant.

Due to the loud blasts, some of the gas cylinders fell from the rooftop to the second and the ground floors, damaging some of the vehicles parked there, fire officials said.

Fortunately, there were no people at the gymnasium, nor were there many people present at the car showroom on the ground floor.

There were no customers present at the cafe at the time either. However, there were around 10 staff members, almost all of whom managed to escape through the main exit of the restaurant.

Only Prem Singh remained, and he jumped to the ground from the rooftop and sustained injuries.

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Probe underway

The fire officials told South First that eight fire tenders were pressed into service for dousing the fire and as many as 35 firefighters were on the job.

“We got a call from one Yadhuraj at 12.04 pm, and we dispatched an Ariel Ladder Platform (ALP), two water boozers, and five water tankers to the spot,” said the fire officials.

“A State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) vehicle was also sent to the spot to oversee rescue operations. However, no one was trapped in the entire building,” they confirmed.

Additional Commissioner of Police (East Zone) Raman Gupta said, “An investigation will be conducted into whether the restaurant was being operated with all fire and other safety compliances.”

The Sudduguntepalya police have taken up a case and are investigating further.