Gujarat: Children among 22 killed in Rajkot game zone fire

Rajkot, May 25 (PTI) At least 22 persons, including children, were killed in a massive fire that swept through a game zone teeming with people enjoying a summer vacation outing in Gujarat’s Rajkot city on Saturday evening, officials said.

Relief and Rescue operations have been underway at the affected TRP game zone for more than five hours after the blaze erupted at a fibre dome constructed for gaming activities at around 4:30 pm, officials said, adding that the structure collapsed due to the huge fire.

“So far we have confirmed the death of 22 persons in the fire incident. The bodies are completely charred and it is difficult to identify them,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vinayak Patel.

According to eyewitnesses, several people, including children were playing games at the game zone, located on Nana-Mava Road, when the tragedy struck.

Rajkot Collector Prabhav Joshi said the Fire Control Room received a call at around 4:30 pm regarding the blaze at the game zone.

“Fire tenders and ambulances rushed to the spot to douse the flames. The fire caused the collapse of the structure, and debris is being cleared,” Joshi added.

However, the exact cause of the massive fire is not known.

The state government has assigned the investigation to a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief at the loss of lives in the fire tragedy and said the local administration is working to provide all possible assistance to those affected.

Modi spoke to Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel to enquire about the rescue and relief efforts.

“The fire tragedy in Rajkot has saddened us all. In my telephone conversation with him a short while ago, Gujarat CM Bhupendrabhai Patel Ji told me about the efforts underway to ensure all possible assistance is provided to those who have been affected,” he said on X.

Patel has announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to each injured. He also set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incident.

After the fire broke out, Rajkot Police Commissioner Raju Bhargav told media persons that the cause of the blaze would be investigated and that a message had been issued to all the gaming zones in the city to close operations.

“The fire tragedy in Rajkot is heart-wrenching. I express my heartfelt condolences to the persons who lost their lives in this incident and their families. I pray to God for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Patel tweeted.

“The state government will provide Rs 4 lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs 50 thousand to the injured. It is very important to ensure that such an incident does not happen again,” he said.

Patel further said that any kind of negligence would not be tolerated and assigned the investigation of the entire incident to a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

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