Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Probe ordered into Jhansi fire, death toll goes up to five

A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the massive fire at two showrooms of electronic items in a three-storey building in Sipri Bazar area of Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi on July 3 night. The death toll in the fire has risen to five even as fire tenders contained the blaze after nearly 14 hours.

Nearly 60 fire tenders, including those called in from Madhya Pradesh, were pressed into service for controlling the fire.

Sub-divisional magistrate, Sadar, Mritunjaya will conduct the inquiry. District magistrate Ravindra Kumar said the victims’ families were being given a financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each.

“The post-mortem examination was conducted through the night by a panel of doctors and the bodies have been handed over to the family members,” he added.

As per Ravindra Kumar, a team of public works department will technically assess the safety of the building on Tuesday.

A decision whether to raze the building or not would depend on the report of the PWD team, he said.

Meanwhile, reports suggest the building in which the fire broke out has only one point for both, entry and exit. Besides, the building did not have any emergency exit system either.

“These people could have been easily taken out in case there was an emergency staircase or separate entry and exit points,” said a fire department official.

The victims were identified as Rajini Rajput, an assistant manager with United Insurance company, Hridyesh Tomar, Amir Khan, Anuj Savita and Prakash Chandra, said Rajesh S., SSP, Jhansi.

Of them, Rajini Rajput, who was in her office located in the building, was first rescued and rushed to hospital where she succumbed to burn injuries.

Later, two charred bodies from the ground floor and one from the first floor of the building were recovered when fire department personnel were looking for survivors.

Two victims, Amir Khan and Anuj Savita, were on the first floor when the fire broke out. As it intensified, they moved into the bathroom but could not survive.

“They called people outside, talking about their inability to come out. They were sitting under the tap hoping to survive. They were available on phone for 15 minutes after which they became unreachable,” said a fireman who had spoken to the duo.

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