11 guest workers die in Bhoiguda scrap godown fire
Deccan Chronicle.| Naveen Kumar
The deceased, all migrant workers from Bihar, were found on the first floor of the building at Bhoiguda in the city
All the men were in one room and most of them died from asphyxiation. (DC)
Hyderabad: As many as 11 people, aged between 23 and 30, were charred to death in a ghastly fire mishap at a scrap godown at Bhoiguda during the wee hours of Wednesday. The men were sleeping on the first floor of the building, which is accessible via a spiral staircase beside the main entrance, when the
fire broke due to an alleged short circuit. The Gandhinagar police booked a case against the owner of the godown.
The deceased were identified as Dipak Ram, Bittu Kumar, Sikender Ram Kumar, Chattrila Ram alias Golu, Satendra Kumar, Dinesh Kumar, Sintu Kumar, Damodar Mahaldar, Rajesh Kumar, Ankaj Kumar and Rajesh, said the Gandhinagar police, adding that they were from Katihar and Chapra of Bihar.
As many as 100 fire officials, including director general of fire department Sanjay Kumar Jain to regional and district fire officers, occupied the narrow lane on Wednesday morning.
Fire officials said that they received a call at 3:55 am and the first fire tender was rushed from the Gandhi Hospital outpost within a few minutes. "Seven more fire tenders of different kinds, including water bowsers and multipurpose tenders were sent to the scene to douse flames. As of Wednesday night, five fire tenders are still at the spot performing dumping work while the GHMC officials are demolishing the place. The cause of fire and the property loss is yet to be estimated. A detailed investigation will be launched into the incident," said the fire officials.
Hyderabad police commissioner C.V. Anand, who visited the spot early Wednesday morning, said the lower floor had scrap material, bottles, newspapers etc. "It appears as if all conditions were violated in the place in regards to fire safety norms. All the men were in one room and most of them died from asphyxiation within minutes. While one person managed to jump out, the others were shifted to Gandhi Hospital morgue for post mortem examination. There is a need to rethink the safety in this area as there are timber depots and other industries. A full-fledged probe will be launched," said the official.
The police officials said they had conducted a post mortem examination of all the bodies and they will be sent to Bihar on Thursday. "The bodies are preserved in the morgue and are scheduled to shift to RGI Airport at 4 am on Thursday, from where they will be taken to Patna airport in a special flight," police said.
The Gandhinagar police of Hyderabad booked cases under section 304-A (death by negligence) and 337 (endangering human life) of the IPC against the owner of the godown, Sampath. "He is taken into custody and an investigation will follow into the case. Strict action will be taken against him for his negligence," police added.
Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Rs. 5 lakh and Rs.2 lakh ex-gratia respectively to the families of the deceased. Home Minister Mahmood Ali has assured that the bodies of the deceased would be transported back to their hometown and expressed his grief about the incident. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has demolished the godown.