regular-article-logo Wednesday, 07 June 2023

Puri shopping mall blaze: Committee set up to probe cause, ‘delay’ in containing fire

The team will be led by Puri sub-collector while the local tehsildar and Inspector of the local town police station will be members of the committee

PTI Puri Published 10.03.23, 02:06 PM
Representational image

Representational image File Picture

With a major fire at a shopping complex in Puri town taking 36 hours to be put out completely, the district administration Friday formed a committee to probe into the cause of the blaze and the delay in containing it, officials said.

The team will be led by Puri sub-collector while the local tehsildar and Inspector of the local town police station will be members of the committee. The fire damaged 42 of the 43 shops in the complex, near Shree Jagannath Temple.


The firefighters had successfully evacuated about 140 people, including 106 tourists from Maharashtra, from the complex after fire broke out at the building on Wednesday, the officials said. Fire Services, IG, Central Range, Ramesh Chandra Majhi said, “It was a real challenge for us as there was no adequate space for air passage in the market complex”.

Majhi urged all the building owners to keep adequate open space and ventilation avenues for such emergencies.

The narrow passage in the building and downed shutters created a problem for the firefighters and they could not use water canons to douse the blaze.

Most of the shops in the market complex were closed on the occasion of Holi.

Three persons and as many fire personnel were hospitalised due to exposure to flame and smoke.

They were discharged from the hospital after complete recovery.

“The fire was intense and one could stand near it, leave alone make efforts to douse the flames. The heat was so intense that it melted the metal shutters of the closed shops and the entire building became a cauldron with chunks of the ceiling caving in. We had to make a hole in the wall on the backside of the building to spray water,” a fireman said.

The Laxmi Market also houses a bank and a hotel.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated the people engaged in the firefighting operations in Puri.

“I thank and congratulate the personnel of Odisha Fire Service, OSDMA and Puri district officials for saving precious lives in the fire tragedy,” Patnaik said.

Terming the incident of dousing the blaze at Puri as a challenging and a difficult task, DG, Fire Service, S K Upadhaya, announced that five fire officials will be conferred with the “DG Disc” award for their courage during the firefighting operation.

This apart, all the personnel engaged in the firefighting will also be given cash award as decided by the state government, he told reporters.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.


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