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MP: 7 dead, 9 injured in major fire at Indore residential building

MP: 7 dead, 9 injured in major fire at Indore residential building
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Indore: Seven persons, including a couple, were killed and nine others suffered injuries after a major fire broke out in a three-storey residential building in Vijay Nagar locality of Indore in the wee hours of Saturday, police said.

Eyewitnesses alleged that the fire brigade personnel arrived late at the spot to rescue the people trapped inside the building, and added that some residents even jumped off the balconies of their flats and managed to save themselves, although they received injuries in the process.

Expressing grief over the incident, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ordered a probe into it and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next kin of each deceased.

The blaze erupted between 3 am and 4 am following a short circuit in the electricity metre box on the ground floor of the building located in Vijay Nagar's congested Swarna Bagh Colony area having narrow approach lanes, officials said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Sampat Upadhyay said that Ishwar Singh Sisodia and his wife Neetu Sisodia were among the seven killed in the fire. The couple lived in a rented flat in the building since their new house was being constructed nearby, he said.

The deceased included one more woman, who has been identified as Akanksha, Upadhyay said, adding that nine persons were injured in the incident. The deceased, as well as the injured, were in the age group of 25 to 45 years.

There were several flats on the three floors of the building, which were occupied, he said.

"After the fire broke out, the area around the building's main door located on the ground floor and the staircase got enveloped in flames and black smoke, while the door that led to the terrace from the third floor turned extremely hot, due to which most of the people got trapped inside the building. Some people rushed to the balcony of their flats to

save themselves," the DCP said.

An onlooker named Akshay Solanki, said: "After the fire, bodies of two to three bodies were brought out of the building. These bodies were charred beyond recognition. Some other

people died due to asphyxiation."

He alleged that the fire brigade personnel reached the spot late. "Had they arrived in time, the lives of people could have been saved," he added.

Solanki said some people jumped off the balconies of the burning building to safety.

Some videos that have gone viral on social media show flames and thick smoke enveloping the building, causing sparks in the electricity cables with people crying and screaming for help before fire tenders reached the scene.

Local people could also be seen making futile attempts to put out the fire with buckets of water.

Vijay Nagar police station inspector Tehzeeb Qazi said the fire tenders had a tough time reaching the building due to a narrow alley.

He said the firefighters rescued the people trapped in the fire and brought the fire under control. "They

stopped the blaze from spreading to nearby areas," he added.

Citing eyewitnesses, Qazi said a short circuit in the electric metre triggered the fire, which soon engulfed the vehicles in the parking area of the residential complex before it moved to the floors above.

Seven people died in the fire and most of the victims died due to asphyxiation, he added. Chief Minister Chouhan said in a tweet: "I have ordered a probe, guilty will face tough action. Families of the deceased would be paid Rs 4 lakh each."

According to eyewitnesses, no fire safety arrangements were in place in the building when the blaze erupted.

When asked about this, Indore Police Commissioner Harinarayan Chari Mishra said that an FIR will be registered against the owner of the building under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

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