The cables to trust…

Death toll in Surat fire tragedy climbed to 22 on Saturday, as several students are critical and battling for their lives in various hospitals in the city. The deceased include 18 girls in the age group of 16-19 and four teenaged boys.

According to police, five persons died for injuries they sustained after they fell on the ground after jumping from the top floor while remaining died of severe burn injuries as the entire top floor gutted into the fire.

The police lodged FIR against the builder and arrested Bhargav Butani, owner of the coaching class in Takshashila Arcade in Surat.

“We have arrested Bhargav Butani, who was running the coaching centre without any permission from any authority,” Surat Police Commissioner Satish Sharma told media persons on Saturday.

Mr. Sharma added that the probe has been handed over to the city crime branch considering its urgency and magnitude of the incident.

The other two persons named in the FIR are — Harshul Vekaria and Jignesh Paliwal — both builders, are absconding. An FIR has been registered against them for culpable homicide.

Moreover, Municipal Commissioner M. Thennarasan cracked the whip and suspended two senior officers of the fire department for negligence.

S.K. Acharya, Deputy Chief Fire officer of Surat Municipal Corporation and Kirti Modh has been suspended with immediate effect for their negligence in duty.

According to sources, the same building issued notice for non compliance of fire safety norms a few months back but the fire division officials did not pursue the notice and the building was not sealed.

“We have launched a major drive to ensure that all high rise buildings in the city have proper fire safety systems installed in them,” Mr. Thennasaran said.

From Delhi, the national human rights commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Gujarat government, seeking report on the gruesome incident that claimed 22 lives in Surat. In a suo moto action, the rights body has called for a detailed report from the Chief Secretary regarding the incident.

Meanwhile, as the results for class 12 were announced on Saturday, It was found that three of the deceased — Yashvi Kevadiya, Mansi Varsani and Hasti Surani — had appeared for class 12 exams of the Gujarat board and passed.

Across Gujarat, the state authorities issued public notice to shut down coaching centres and tuition classes till proper audit of fire safety mechanism is not done in all cities and district headquarters.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has directed the administration to undertake comprehensive audit of fire safety systems in all hospitals, schools, high rise buildings, cinema halls and shopping malls and markets.


Short circuit resulting in fire in the electrical duct caused fumes that engulfed the complex


A major mass casualty was averted on Monday after fire brigade rescued over 100 persons when a fire broke out in Dev Aurum building in Prahladnagar area of the city. Short circuit resulting in fire in the electrical duct caused fumes that engulfed the complex. Fire Brigade officials said that changes were made after Building Use (BU) permission was given. Moreover, fire safety equipment in the building was not in operating condition when it was needed the most. Orders to seal the building have been given and it will be sealed by Tuesday.

According to Rajesh Bhatt, Additional Chief Fire Officer if people were not have evacuated, there would been had a major casualty. “Entire electrical duct was under fire. All the cables and doors were under fire,” said Bhatt. The fire, caused by short circuit, is believed to have begun on seventh floor. From there it is spread to second floor downwards and upto ninth floor on the top.

A Fire Control Room official said 12 fire-tenders along with scores of personnel were deployed to douse the blaze. However, they found that the fire control equipment was not working. More than the fire, it was the smoke that was dangerous for the inhabitants. “There was no escape provision for the smoke. People had started suffocating. If they were not evacuated on time, there would have been a major casualty. Some people were even on the verge of jumping from the building,” said Bhatt.

Orders have been given to seal the building and it will be sealed by Tuesday. Bhatt said that modifications were made in the building after BU permission was issued. “The Estate penalizes for petty violations. Why such glaring violations escape their attention?” asked Bhatt adding that entire foyer and staircase was blocked, preventing the smoke from exiting the building. “If you give priority to aesthetics over safety, such things will be very common,” said Bhatt.

A woman being taken to hospital after the fire breakout

While electrical connection to the building has been stopped, Bhatt lamented that inspite of legal provisions, electrical connections to lift and fire systems are also cut. Electricity supply utilities are told to have a dedicated connection, but still utilities are not complying, on the ninth and tenth floor of a multi-storey commercial complex in Ahmedabad’s Prahladnagar area, a senior official said.

Three persons were unconscious when rescued, Ahmedabad Chief Fire Officer M F Dastur said, adding that the blaze and the resultant smoke at Dev Aurum complex did not cause any casualties.

“The fire started in the cable duct of the building. It has been brought under control. Though a fire safety system was installed in the building, it was not working,” Dastur informed.

AMC to inspect fire equipment at Dev Auram

After life-threatening ablaze at the Dev Auram building on Monday, the fire department is going to inspect the installed fire equipment at the complex. According to Chaitanya Shah, estate officer of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, their team has visited the venue soon after the incident took place. They have reviewed the fire safety licence which is valid up to June 24, 1019. But unfortunately, none of the installed equipment was in working condition. Now, after the inspection by the fire team, the estate department will take a call to seal the unit.

Greater Noida: A fire broke out at a thermocol factory located in the industrial area of Kasna in Udyog Vihar extension of Greater Noida on Tuesday. At least six fire tenders were rushed to the spot. No casualties have been reported so far.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. However, a short circuit at the factory is said to be the likely reason behind this fire.


Earlier today, two minors were charred to death after a fire broke out at a furniture shop in Shaheen Bagh’s Abu Fazal Enclave in southeast Delhi. A six-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl died in the blaze, police said. “It is a four-storey building. The family used to reside on the ground floor while the furniture store was functioning from the basement,” a senior police official said.

Last month, a fire broke out at a hospital in Noida which was functioning without a fire licence. The National Human Rights Commission had issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government over the incident.

The fire that broke out in Abul Fazal Enclave in the Shaheen Bagh locality at 0106 hours is presumed to be due to a short circuit.


New Delhi: Two minors were killed in a fire that broke out in a four-storey building in South Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh on Tuesday.

The fire that broke out in Abul Fazal Enclave in the Shaheen Bagh locality at 0106 hours is presumed to be due to a short circuit.

Locals informed police at Shaheen Bagh Police station, who swung into action.

One of eyewitness told ANI, “Around 20 to 25 people were present in the house when the fire started and as it became uncontrollable we immediately called the Fire department and fire tenders reached the spot on time.”

Two children both of them belonging to the family of Ehsan Malik who owned a furniture showroom on the basement of the building, he added.

Another eyewitness said, “Nearly five fire tenders reached the spot on time. Meanwhile, locals rescued the remaining members of the family but unfortunately failed to rescue Ehsaan’s daughter Aisha and his nephew Juhaib, as both of them hidden inside the building because of fear.”

They both have been taken to the Holy Family Hospital but declared dead. However, the matter is still under probe said, eyewitnesses.

A major fire broke out in a cardboard factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Greater Noida. At least 12 fire tenders are at the spot currently to douse the fire.

The cardboard factory is located in Ecotech third Thana area of Greater Noida.

People from nearby companies have been evacuated. Fire tenders from Ghaziabad are also being called. Reportedly, goods and papers worth lakhs have burnt down.

According to reports, a short circuit was the reason behind the major fire.


AHMEDABAD: Currency notes worth Rs 18 lakh were burnt to ashes after a major fire broke out at an Indian Bank ATM in Rudra Arcade at Helmet Crossroads in Memnagar on Sunday morning. The fire spread to six adjacent offices, destroying documents and furniture. Losses may run into crores. Fifty firefighters took around one-and-a-half hours to douse the flames with the help of two water tankers. Chief fire officer of the Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES) M F Dastoor said that no one suffered any injury. A senior fire official, quoting the branch manager of the bank, said that the ATM machine, two air-conditioners, furniture inside the ATM, and a flex board were burnt. “A nearby shop selling fitness and surgical instruments was damaged. Three ACs and fitness equipment were charred. The loss of Rs 75 lakh is estimated,” said a fire official. “The fire gutted a dental clinic too. Files of patients and surgical instruments and
equipment worth Rs 1 crore were burnt. The fire also spread to the office of an advocate and BJP leader, J J Patel and three other offices. ACs, furniture, and documents were gutted; the loss is estimated to be Rs 2-2.50 crore.”


Another senior fire official said that frequent fire accidents have been occurring in the city but fire-safety protocols are lax. “The ATM, where the fire broke out because of a short-circuit, lacked any fire-safety equipment,” said the official. “Besides, there was 2/25/2019 Rs 18 lakh turns to ashes as fire engulfs ATM – Times of India no MCB (miniature circuit breaker) switch which could stop the flow of electricity during a short-circuit.” A team of FSL experts has been called in to investigate. No action for negligence
A senior fire official said that though fires have been breaking out in the city frequently, no criminal action has been initiated in any case. “In the case of Shreeji Tower fire, residents took action but authorities like the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) did not make any concrete action plan,” the official said. He said that the civic body must lodge a criminal complaint in cases of fire due to negligence. In the case of the ATM fire, currency notes worth lakhs were gutted. So the authorities need to take suo motu cognizance of the case and begin an inquiry. 244 Firefighters protesting exam detained
At least 244 firefighters who were protesting against the exam held for various positions of the AFES by the AMC, were detained by Gujarat University police after they sat on a hunger strike at the exam venue in the university on Sunday. The firefighters were demanding that promotions and positions be given on the basis of their seniority and not merely on the basis of an exam. This happened at a time when a team of firefighters was battling the blaze at Helmet Crossroads. An AFES official said that the fire department has been facing staff crunch to the extent of 95% but legal complications and controversies were being created to affect recruitment.

AHMEDABAD: Even before summer sets in two major incidents of fire were reported in Ahmedabad on Thursday. This included an incident where a major fire engulfed over 15 shanties in slum area besides Chandola lake in Narol area of the city. The another incident occurred in Vanch village in the outskirts of city where in a fire broke out in fire-crackers factory located on a farm land. The first incident of Chandola lake occurred on Thursday afternoon when fire suddenly broke out in a shanty near a Dargah (shrine).

A team of 30 personnel of Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Service (AFES) rushed there with eight fire tenders and doused the fire in around one and half hour. Articles worth Rs lakhs were gutted into fire, said a fire official. MF Dastoor, chief fire official, said that the reason for the fire has not been ascertained. Locals said that a short circuit could be reason besides someone also might have done some mischief which caused the fire. In March last year, a major fire had occurred in the same area wherein 100 shanties were engulfed in flames.

Another incident of Vanch in daskroi taluka left three persons injured, said Dastoor. “We managed to douse the fire with one fire tenders and three AFES personnel,” he said.