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Fire at BSNL unit hits phone, internet services in govt offices
Nearly 30,000 landline phones and internet connections, mainly in government offices, were affected after a fire broke out at BSNL office in Mannadi on Thursday.
Two officers of Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS) fainted when they were involved in the firefighting operation.
Services at e-seva centres, police stations and other government offices were hampered as both landline and internet connections stopped working, said sources. BSNL authorities have reportedly informed that it would take at least a week to restore the services fully.
The fire reportedly started in the ground floor around 4 am at BSNL exchange office. However, the fire control room received information only around 5.30 am despite security guards being posted in the building. By the time the TNFRS personnel reached the spot, the fire had spread to the first and second floor of the five-storey building.
“The fire was brought under control after a five-hour-long operation. Eighty TNFRS personnel from Royapuram, Triplicane, Egmore, Washermenpet and Esplanade were deployed. Ten fire tenders, five Metro water tankers and a telescopic ladder were also pressed into service,” said Shahul Hamid, District Fire Officer.
The smoke emanating from burning cables engulfed the building and two fire personnel, Jothivel and Saroj Joseph, fainted after they entered the second floor without safety mask. They were rescued and rushed to the hospital.
While a short circuit is suspected to be the cause of the fire, an official from the BSNL office who inspected the spot said that around 30,000 phone services and 30 mobile phone tower connections have been disrupted. Servers used for public distribution system (PDS) were also affected, said the official. A case has been registered and further inquiry is on.