Thousands, including Bollywood stars, flee as huge fire guts "Make in India" stage in Mumbai

Participants leave an arena after a fire broke out during an event held as part of the 'Make in India Week' in Mumbai on Feb 14, 2016.
Participants leave an arena after a fire broke out during an event held as part of the 'Make in India Week' in Mumbai on Feb 14, 2016.PHOTO: AFP
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS
A firefighter tries to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.
A firefighter tries to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire at the venue of a cultural event during 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, India, on Feb 14, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

MUMBAI (AFP) - A huge fire gutted a stage at a cultural event in Mumbai on Sunday (Feb 14), which was part of the Indian government's much-trailed 'Make in India' week.

The massive blaze broke out shortly after Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan had read a poem at the event, which was being held on the popular Chowpatty beach in the south of India's commercial capital.

Thousands of people, including Maharashtra's chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had to be evacuated after the fire started around 8.00 pm (10.30pm Singapore).

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

"14 Fire engines, 10 Water Tankers, and all Sr. Fire Officers are on site. Fire now totally under control. Program called off," Fadnavis tweeted around 9.15 pm.

"Very unfortunate occurrence of fire in cultural program organised by GoM at Mumbai. No casualties reported, no one is injured," he added.

He said the "venue was evacuated immediately" and that "a comprehensive inquiry into the incidence of fire will be conducted to ascertain reasons".

Deputy commissioner of Mumbai police Dhananjay Kulkarni also said there were no reports of any casualties.

The event was celebrating Maharashtra culture as part of India's 'Make in India' week, which is aimed at attracting investment to the country and is running in the western city of Mumbai from February 13 to 18.

"Initially we thought it (the flames) were part of the performance, then we realised it wasn't part of the plan," Prasoon Joshi, an Indian lyricist who was at the event, told NDTV news channel.