According to NCRB 2015, fire accidents kill 48 Indians every day. Fire accidents have killed over 1 lakh Indians in 5 years (2011-2015) In our country, as we at Beyond Carlton keep saying, fire safety takes a backseat and we can spot a fire safety violation very easily. Because of this nonchalance, we have had some of the most tragic fire incidents; we talk about it for a while and forget after a few months.
Here are some of the worst fire accidents of 2017. Do we still remember them?
1. Kamala Mills – Mumbai
This is one of the recent fire tragedies that shook India. Kamala mills fire accident it one of the worst tragedies of 2017. The accident occurred on 28th December, in two rooftop pubs in Mumbai. The accident claimed 14 lives. The cause of the fire is claimed to be from a hookah. Apart from this, there were series of fire safety violations in these pubs. The pubs did not have emergency exits nor did it have fire safety equipment in working condition.
2. Plastic Factory – Ludhiana
The fire accident at a plastic factory in Ludhiana took place on 20th November. 13 people, including 3 firemen were killed and dozens were critically injured. The 5-storey building allegedly had approval only for 2 storeys and also had been stocking up hazardous chemicals. Due to these violations, the fire accident led to building collapse. Moreover, there were no fire safety system or fire safety equipment in the building.
The rescue operation became very challenging for the disaster responders and there were many trapped inside the debris for a long time. Many houses near the factory also got damaged because of this incident.
3. Snack Shop in Saki Naka – Mumbai
12 labourers were killed in this ghastly fire accident in Khairani Road Saki Naka on December 18. The fire was due to an electrical short circuit followed by an explosion of gas cylinders. At the time of this disaster, 21 persons were sleeping inside the shop on a loft which was 60X30 feet. The workers were trapped inside this cramped place. The shop had only one exit and that was blocked due to the fire. The fire was doused by drilling a hole from the neighbouring shop. The owner of the shop did not have the license to operate.
4. Rohini hospital – Telangana
This accident occurred on mid-October at the time where 199 patients were admitted in Rohini super specialty hospital Hanamkonda, Telangana. The accident claimed 2 lives and several others severely injured. The cause of the fire was allegedly due to a cylinder leakage in the operation theatre. The hospital did not have fire systems in working condition.
5. Scrap market – Kota
This gruesome accident occurred on July 19 in a scrap market in Kota, Rajasthan. The fire was due to an electrical short circuit and subsequent explosion of five cylinders stored nearby. This accident killed two and 15 people were severely injured. It is also alleged that almost all the shops stored diesel in canisters due to which the fire became uncontrollable.
6. Cracker Shop – Rourkela
A major fire broke out in a cracker shop in Rourkela, Odisha on October 18. The fire killed one and injured three persons. The fire started due to an electrical short-circuit and the shop had stocked a large quantity of firecrackers.
7. Illegal cracker unit – Jharkhand
A fire at an illegal cracker unit in Kumardubi village, Jamshedpur killed 6 people and 4 injured. The cracker unit was a house where a lot of crackers was stored and manufactured. The house was located in a busy market area.
8. Explosion – Juhu Mumbai
The disaster took place on September 7th in an under the construction apartment in Juhu Mumbai. The fire was caused by a gas cylinder explosion in which 6 people were killed and 11 were injured. The victims were staying in a makeshift portion of the stilt are of the building.
These accidents were the worst in terms of casualties. But there was a number of fire accidents which involved huge property losses or had put many lives at huge risk. Here are to mention a few:
- MY Hospital, Indore – November 2017 – Fire systems were not in working condition. The smoke engulfed the ward where 47 neonates were admitted.
- Bhandra station, Mumbai – October 2017 – Explosion of gas cylinders due to demolition drive by BMC. Around 200-300 houses gutted.
- Multi-storeyed hosiery unit in Ludhiana – October 2017 – Fire spread rapidly as the fire department was ill-equipped. The unit was allowed to operate in the residential area.
- Chennai silks – June 2017 – The 7 storeyed building in buzzing streets on TNagar was engulfed in fire – The estimated loss was Rs. 420 crore and the structure had a series of fire safety and building code violations.
The infographic here shows some of the worst fire accidents so far in India
The fire accidents have happened because of four reasons:
- Violation of fire safety laws
- Lack of fire safety awareness
- Poor implementation of fire safety laws by the authorities
- “Nothing will happen to us” attitude of citizens
Fire accidents can happen anywhere, anytime and to anyone. We have to be more vigilant and extremely careful in preventing fire. Preventing fires by following even existing fire safety laws and creating awareness are two important ways to address fire safety at all the times. These are all man-made disasters and much more are waiting to happen if we do not take fire safety seriously.