Sat, 15 June 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

India: Fire at entertainment center leaves at least 27 dead

Update : 26 May 2024, 15:23

A fire at a crowded amusement park in Gujarat State in western India on Saturday left at least 27 people dead, police said. Four of them were children younger than 12.

Local government officials said forensic specialists were collecting DNA samples from the dead, as some of them were "charred beyond recognition."

"The toll in the fire incident is now 27. Police have arrested two persons and the investigation is continuing," local government official Prabhav Joshi told AFP news agency on Sunday morning.

Officials said at least four people had been detained for questioning, and warned the death toll is likely to rise.

The blaze occurred in the city of Rajkot. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on X that the "fire tragedy in Rajkot saddened us all." 

Focus on saving lives, says Rajkot mayor
Survivors reported having to kick down doors and leap out of windows to escape the inferno that swept through a centre packed full of young people enjoying games including bowling, Indian media reported on Sunday.

More than 300 people were in the two-story structure at the TRP amusement and theme park when the fire erupted as it was a summer holiday weekend, fire officer Ilesh Kher said.

"People got trapped as a temporary structure at the facility collapsed near the entrance, making it difficult for the people to come out," he said.

It took nearly an hour to extinguish the fire, with around a dozen ambulances carrying the injured to the hospital, according to officials, who added that a short-circuit was suspected as the cause, though more specifics had yet to be established.

 "We tried to escape from the rear door, but couldn't. I saw a beam of light coming from outside. I kicked down the tin sheet and five of us made our way out, jumping from the first floor,"  Pruthvirajsinh Jadeja who was present at the accident and managed to escape told The Indian Express newspaper. 

Another fire broke out Saturday night in capital city Delhi in newborn baby hospital, killing six infants. Passersby rushed into the hospital to reescue other babies from the ward.

Fires are common in India due to poor-quality buildings and a lack of adherence to safety regulations.

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