Massive plumes of smoke smothered the sky above Panagal Park in Chennai'sT Nagar, as firefighters battled a major fire in the building housing the Chennai Silks Showroom.
However, no casualties were reported.
Fire officials have confirmed that several commercial buildings did not comply with the fire department's regulations and did not have a no-objection certificate from the department.
A multi-storied textile showroom located in the busy T. Nagar locality here caught fire on Wednesday early morning. There was welding work going on, following which the fire broke out.
Twelve men who were working in the canteen on the seventh floor were rescued using a skylift in the morning.
None were injured in the mishap and thick columns of smoke continued to emanate from the seven-floor building, a Fire Service official said. The building also has a gold jewellery showroom in the ground floor. Eyewitnesses said that they could hear noises of walls and ceiling collapse inside the building. Fire service personnel could not enter the building because of the smoke.
City police barricaded the entire area.
Traffic on the arterial North Usman Road, which was home to several leading retail textile chains, was stopped following the incident and office-goers were put to a lot of hardship.