M A I N   N E W S

Memories of Slumdog star’s fame go up in flames

Mumbai, March 5
The home of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ child star Rubina Ali and the awards she won for the Oscar-winning film were destroyed in a major fire that raged through a slum in suburban Bandra yesterday night. In the blaze, at least 21 persons were injured and over 2,000 rendered homeless.

“A total of 21 persons, including four firemen, were injured while fighting the flames. They have been admitted to Bhabha Hospital here,” a fire official said. The fire was controlled a little past midnight. However, no fatalities were reported so far, the official said, adding over 2,000 persons were rendered homeless as hundreds of shanties were destroyed in the blaze.

The family of 12-year-old Rubina, who played the role of young poverty-stricken Latika in Danny Boyle's celebrated film, watched helplessly as the tin-roofed shack in the crowded slum went up in flames.

Rubina was an eight-year-old during the making of the rags-to-riches blockbuster, which won eight Oscars in 2009. “We all were at home watching TV, when a neighbour came to alert us about the fire. We all rushed out. We spent the entire night at the railway station. I have lost everything, including books and precious belongings like awards, photographs, newspaper clippings and memorabilia from the success of the film,” the child artiste said.

“So far nobody has come to help us,” she rued.

Rubina's father Rafiq said: “We feel relieved to see that all our family members are safe. But all the good memories of my daughter's fame have been reduced to ashes. We have lost everything.”

The fire broke out in Garib Nagar slums near Bandra (East) railway station at around 10.20 pm yesterday after which 34 fire engines and 16 jumbo water tankers were rushed to the spot.

The flames were doused around 12.30 am. The exact cause of the fire has not been established but initial reports say five gas cylinders exploded in the slums due to which the fire spread. — PTI





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