Nine deaths in Bangalore fire, shocks city

Nine deaths in Bangalore fire, shocks city

Wednesday, 24 February 2010, 03:03 Hrs   |    4 Comments
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Nine deaths in Bangalore fire, shocks city
Bangalore: When the first flashes came on Kannada TV channels of a fire in the seven-storey office and commercial complex in Bangalore central business district, not many viewers thought it would end in nine deaths.

"I thought the channels were making it big because of the visuals they were getting. At first, it appeared that many people in the upper floors of the complex were simply looking out," said K. Vanajakshi, a housewife.

"But I was shocked when they started telecasting visuals caught on mobiles showing some jumping out in panic and others using bare hands to break the glass panels for fresh air," she said.

That was around 5.30 p.m. and she sat glued to the TV for the next three hours, switching channels to catch the latest till the doctors at the Manipal Hospital, to where the dead and the injured were rushed, confirmed nine deaths and 60 injuries.

Similar was the case in hundreds of houses and offices across the state as the dimension of the worst fire tragedy in the state in over a decade started unravelling with more dramatic visuals caught on cells making it to the channels.

K.S. Kashinath, a retired state government official, said since there was no visual of fire belching out of the complex and only smoke, he thought there would not be any deaths.

"I feared, though, that many would suffer from inhaling the smoke as I saw people using their bare hands to break open the glass panel to let the smoke out."

"I have been in the city for over six decades. I cannot recall a fire accident that took so many lives in Bangalore in the last 20 years," he said.

Microblogging site Twitter was flooded with one liners updating the rescue effort and casualty numbers.

Some of those trapped in the building also tweeted, telling they were safe, waiting for fire brigade personnel to be rescued and asking family members and friends not to panic and desist from trying to reach the complex.

City police and fire personnel also did not expect nine people will lose lives as there was more smoke and less fire.

D.G. Chengappa, director of fire services, said this was the worst fire tragedy in over a decade in Karnataka in terms of number of dead.

Police and fire personnel said doors of fire exits in the building were locked adding to the panic of the hundreds trapped in the complex.
Source: IANS
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Reader's comments(4)
1: I am working in ITPL and here it is really good.
- One fire drill happens every year.
- So, we know that there are emergency exits.
- The building layout is displayed with fire exit signs all along.
- Fire extinguishers present inside our floor.
- ERT (Emergency Rescue Team) are there among our employees, who know how to discipline the crowd without panic.
- Sprinklers and fire alarm switches are present all along.

In Carlton tower, the news was
- Emergency doors are there, but locked. No one knows where the key is. (And the building security head seems bragging about his great deeds - Weren't there anybody there to hit him openly for not opening the door.)
- People always used lift, so some not knowing where the staircase is. (And we working professional says that we are getting obese)
- No fire drill ever. (There should be a case against that rich building owner, who can't divert some of his large cash amount on these things)
- No discipline among the professionals (where are ERTs if any, where are brave guys - come on, all the employees are young in their 30s) leading to rash decision of jumping from 6th floor. (Now from whom in India can we expect discipline - the road side beggars)

Points to ponder! But i would first like to thrash the stingy Carlton Building owner.
Posted by:Who care - 24 Feb, 2010
2: The fire was handled in a very unprofessional way. There was no control over the operations and there was no one with a public address system which lead to panic and people jumping out. This shows that there has been no inspection as is mandatory in high rise buildings and all get the approvals from the fire department. It is time that the occupants of these buildings also take initiative in finding out if fire safety norms are followed and check if the fire equipment is checked and maintained at all times. Hope they take this as an incident which should not have happened and atleast now they take corrective steps before it is too late.
Posted by:Sudhir - 23 Feb, 2010
3: i think fire safety ple should have safety nets below which were in gud condition.
Posted by:seerat - 23 Feb, 2010
Most of the buildings in Bangalore are like this. Government is not at all bothered about the safety measures in these buldings. IT companies should shift from these buildings and move to safer places. I feel IT parks have better facilities compared to these buildings.
Arun Replied to: seerat - 24 Feb, 2010