Bhopal : A major fire in a firecracker market gutted 618 shops, over 100 two-wheelers, injured a dozen people and is estimated to have caused a loss to property worth over Rs.50 million in a Madhya Pradesh city.
Fire engines from the Indian Army and the municipal corporation battled for over three hours to bring the blaze under control, Wednesday, in Gwalior, over 400 km from the state capital, officials said.
Gwalior District Collector Rakesh Shrivastava has ordered an inquiry into the incident that took place at Vyapar Mela Maidan (Trade Fair Ground).
“A magisterial inquiry has been ordered and the municipal commissioner would soon submit a report, after which the exact cause behind the incident would be known,” Srivastava told IANS over the phone.
Meanwhile, the traders association put the blame for the incident squarely on the administration.
“The administration, which allowed all the fire cracker shops to be put up at one place, was solely responsible for the accident. Till last year, the shops were allotted at two different places,” said Rajendra Khandelawal, vice-president of Gwalior firecracker market association.
“Moreover, all the shops were installed adjacent to each other without leaving any space. As per the rules, 10 feet space should be left between two shops. This caused the fire to spread fast,” Khandelawal said.
The stall owners ransacked the Trade Fair office and a heavy police force has deployed at the site to avoid any further untoward incidents.
The injured have been given Rs.10,000 each as immediate financial relief from the Red Cross Society and their treatment at the district hospital is being done free of cost, the district collector said.