The bodies of Dhairya Lalani, 26, and Vishwa Lalani, 23, were found near a washroom that had no windows or exits, along with many other bodies.
Dhairya and Vishwa Lalani suffocated after a fire tore Mumbai rooftop restaurant.
One of the worst tragedies to emerge after the Mumbai pub fire that left 14 people dead is that of two US-based brothers who had come to India recently on a holiday. Dhairya and Vishwa Lalani suffocated when they tried to save their aunt after a fire tore through the “1 Above” restaurant at the Kamala Mill Compound.
The bodies of Dhairya Lalani, 26, and Vishwa Lalani, 23, were found near a washroom that had no windows or exits, along with many other bodies including that of their aunt, Pramila.
Their father Jayant Lalani appeared stunned with grief at their funeral this morning.
The brothers had arrived in Mumbai two weeks back. After attending a series of weddings in the family, they were at “1 Above” for a party organized by their aunt for them and their friends.
“Their aunt didn’t want to go to the party…but they insisted. She relented since they had come from America,” a relative said.
The brothers were seated near the entrance and easily exited the pub when the fire broke out around 12.30 am. But they realized their aunt was not with them, and rushed back up to locate her, going upstream through the crush that was trying to get away from the fire.
They found their aunt near the washroom, along with others. Two of their friends, gasping and struggling, decided to brave the flames and run back to the exit.
According to their friends, one brother first went to save their aunt, who was trapped in the washroom. He didn’t return. Then the other brother went in and he too, didn’t come back.
Hours later, all three were found dead.
Dhairya had been in the US for five years and had recently quit his job.
The two brothers were based in Michigan. On Facebook, they had posted plenty of family photos and memories from adventure vacations. They were described by a friend as “Ram Lakhan” in one post.
The fire started at the “1 Above” pub on the terrace, where around 150 people were present at the time, and raced to Mojo’s pub nearby. It was a disaster waiting to happen as the building had allegedly violated many fire safety rules.
Five officials of the Mumbai civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, have been suspended.