KARZ STAGE DE­STROYED IN RK STU­DIO FIRE

Mas­sive fire de­stroys dance re­al­ity show set at Raj Kapoor’s 69-year-old Chem­bur stu­dio

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A MA­JOR fire broke out on the sets of a dance re­al­ity show at the iconic RK Films and Stu­dios in Chem­bur on Satur­day af­ter­noon, gut­ting a re­volv­ing stage, made pop­u­lar in the 1980 thriller Karz. No ca­su­al­ties or in­juries were re­ported in the in­ci­dent.

Ac­cord­ing to the Mumbai Fire Bri­gade, a fire broke out on the sets of Su­per Dancers, aired on Sony TV, around 2.30 pm. Ini­tially, the dis­as­ter con­trol room of the BMC re­ceived a call of a mi­nor fire at the stu­dio. How­ever, soon, the fire spread rapidly, de­stroy­ing al­most the en­tire set of the show, said of­fi­cials.

Seven fire en­gines, four water tankers and two am­bu­lances were rushed to the spot, lead­ing to a chock-a-block sit­u­a­tion in the al­ready con­gested Chem­bur area.

A source from the set said that no­body was in­side when the in­ci­dent took place. “There was some in­flammable ma­te­rial stored on the set, which caused the fire to spread. How­ever, we have man­aged to con­trol it. There was no loss to life or in­juries to any­one,” said PS Ra­hang­dale, chief fire of­fi­cer.

Sources said that the fire, which was con­fined to a 100×80 sqft area on the ground floor struc­ture, was brought un­der con­trol at around 4.30 pm. But, the fire gut­ted the en­tire set. Cool­ing op­er­a­tions con­tin­ued till late into the evening.

While Ra­hang­dale said that the cause of the fire was yet to be as­cer­tained, Se­nior Po­lice In­spec­tor Shashikant Mane, Go­vandi po­lice, said that prima fa­cie it ap­pears that a short-cir­cuit led to the in­ci­dent. “We have noted the in­ci­dent. We will file a case based on Reliance En­ergy and the fire bri­gade’s re­port,” Mane said.

Mean­while, the BMC is in­ves­ti­gat­ing if there was any neg­li­gence.

RK stu­dio was founded and set up by le­gendary ac­tor, film­maker Raj Kapoor in 1948. His son, ac­tor Rishi Kapoor later took to Twit­ter to share up­dates re­lated to the in­ci­dent. “Sad. A ma­jor fire broke out at RK Stu­dios. We have lost the iconic Stage 1. Thank­fully no ca­su­al­ties nor in­juries. All your con­cerns ap­pre­ci­ated.”

Dilip Pithwa, gen­eral sec­re­tary of Fed­er­a­tion of West­ern In­dia Cine Em­ploy­ees (FWICE), said that this is the fifth fire in­ci­dent in a stu­dio this year. “We have been fight­ing with stu­dios and pro­duc­ers to have bet­ter safety mea­sures. I only hope they take the is­sue more se­ri­ously,” he said.

Film his­to­rian JP Chok­sey, who was close to Raj Kapoor, said, “It is un­for­tu­nate that a huge stage at the set, which also hap­pens to be the big­gest in the coun­try, has been de­stroyed in the fire. The set had a re­volv­ing stage on which the fa­mous Karz song [Om Shanti Om] was shot. Sev­eral Manmohan De­sai and Yash Cho­pra films have also been shot at the same set. Some cos­tumes of RK Stu­dio were burnt in the fire.”

Jour­nal­ist Chai­tanya Padukone re­called at­tend­ing the 60th birth­day cel­e­bra­tion of Raj Kapoor on the same stage.

‘It is un­for­tu­nate that a huge stage at the set, which also hap­pens to be the big­gest in the coun­try, has been de­stroyed in the fire. The set had a re­volv­ing stage on which the fa­mous Karz song [Om Shanti Om] was shot. Sev­eral Manmohan De­sai and Yash Cho­pra films have also been shot at the same set’ JP Chok­sey, film his­to­rian

PICS/PRADEEP DHIVAR

The fire, which broke out at around 2.30 pm, gut­ted the en­tire set, in­clud­ing a stage, which is said to be the big­gest in the coun­try. No ca­su­al­ties were caused be­cause no one was in­side the set at the time of the in­ci­dent.

Ac­tor Rishi Kapoor, son of le­gendary film­maker Raj Kapoor who founded the stu­dio in 1948, ar­rives at the spot of the mishap in Chem­bur on Satur­day evening

The re­volv­ing stage is best re­mem­bered for the iconic num­ber Om Shanti Om

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