Bhopal: A major fire broke out in a government fair price shop in a Madhya Pradesh village leaving 16 people dead and 25 others injured. Officials feared the death toll may go up.
The tragedy occurred when the kerosene stock kept in the fair price shop in Bargi village under Harrai tehsil in Chhindwara district caught fire during distribution of ration to the beneficiaries.
“The incident took place at around 5.30pm. Prima facie it seems a burnt cigarette stub sparked the fire which engulfed the one-room fair price shop in no moment, leading to death of 12-16 people,” state agriculture minister Gouri Shankar Bisen, who rushed to the spot from Dhar, told reporters.
Death toll in the incident is likely to go up as bodies trapped inside the room which has only one entry point and no exit route, were still being removed by the rescue teams, he added. A local sub-divisional magistrate confirmed that as many as 16 bodies have been pulled out of the room so far.
“The fair price shop was completed gutted following the incident. We have to pull down a wall on one side to pull out the bodies. The rescue operation was still on,” another senior district officer told this newspaper. There was unusual rush of beneficiaries as the FPS was to distribute kerosene among other rations on Thursday. “At least 40 people were inside the shop when the fire broke out,” eyewitness accounts said....