Toll in Lucknow hotels blaze reaches 6

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Lucknow, June 20 (IANS) The death toll in the blaze at two hotels here climbed to six on Wednesday, with one person succumbing to his burn injuries, police said. A magisterial probe into the blaze has begun.

Five persons died on Tuesday after a massive fire broke out at the SSJ International Hotel which soon spread to the adjacent Hotel Virat International, gutting both the buildings.

While five bodies have been identified, the identity of a badly charred body of a woman is yet to be ascertained, an official said.

The deceased have been identified as Ganesh Prasad (55) and his son from Patna, Priyanshu Sharma (40) of Aligarh, Santosh Mane (32) of Pune and a one-and-half-year-old Mehar from Kanpur. The mother of Meher, Rani, is in critical condition and is warded at the Civil Hospital.

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Others who were seriously injured in the incident include Asif from Kanpur, Indra Kumar Shukla from Rae Bareli, Sarthak from West Bengal, Amit Pathak from Delhi and Shubhashish Chatterjee from Allahabad.

While their condition is stated to be out of danger, they are still in serious condition with over 30-40 per cent burn injuries.

Meanwhile, the magisterial probe into the inferno has begun. A senior police official privy to the investigation told IANS that there were many shortcomings and non-compliances of safety measures and fire prevention in both the hotels.

A safety audit of other hotels in the area has also been initiated by the police and the Fire Service Department. The owners of both the hotels continue to be on the run.

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An FIR under sections 285, 337, 338 and 304 (6) has been registered against the owners and management of these hotels.



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