Lucknow: In a tragic incident, five people were killed and three others were seriously injured after a major fire engulfed two hotels in the Charbagh area of Lucknow.
Earlier reports stated that five people were reportedly injured. However, as the fire spread, it came to light that five people died in the incident, while three sustained grievous injuries.
More than half a dozen fire tenders were rushed to the spot to contain the situation.
“Five people have died and more than 50 people were rescued from the building. Cause of fire is yet to be ascertained. If we find any lapse on hotel’s part during our investigation, we will take strict action against the people concerned,” said IG Lucknow S Pandey.
According to reports, the fire started from the basement of SSJ International Bar and Hotel due to short circuit and spread to other floors and the adjacent building, which houses another hotel. Within minutes, Hotel Virat International was also up in flames.
Lack of proper firefighting equipment in the hotels further added to the trouble and the management seemed ill-equipped to deal with the situation.
Till now five people have died while three were admitted to Civil Hospital in a serious condition with 90 to 100 percent burns. The condition of two more people was stated to be critical and they were referred to SIPS Burns Specialty Hospital for treatment. The death toll is thus expected to rise.
Lucknow SSP Deepak Kumar also reached the spot and led the rescue operations himself. Speaking journalists, he said, “According to eye-witnesses account, the flames and smoke were first seen at around 5:30 am. The police got information around 6:05 am. Proper investigation will be done in the matter and those responsible will definitely face the action.”
“Prima facie it seems that the fire started at the basement and then it moved upwards. Short circuit might be the reason, but anything concrete can only be stated after a proper investigation,” he added.
However, few of the rescued tourists have revealed they heard a loud explosion and came out to find fire and smoke everywhere. He also revealed that there was no one to guide them and they had to somehow exit the building on their own without any assistance. No one from the hotel staff was present.”
The UP Cabinet and Tourism Minister, Rita Bahuguna Joshi also reached the spot and stated that proper investigation will be done in the matter. “It is a sad incident and our focus was on rescue and relief operations. Many tourists are adjusted in other hotels nearby, while the ones with the injuries have been admitted to various hospitals for treatment. Magisterial investigation will be done to ascertain the reason behind the tragedy,” she has stated.