The New Year revelry at the ongoing beach festival in Diu was disturbed as a major fire broke out in the Festival Village on Nagva beach and damaged 16 luxurious tents on Friday. However, nobody was injured in the incident, officers said.
The fire broke out at around 10:55 AM from one of the tents in the Festival Village, Diu Fire and Emergency Service said. However it spread to other parts of the tent village and before firefighters could control it, the blaze gutted 16 tents. One more tent was pulled down to isolate the fire and prevent it from spreading further.
“We do not know as of now as to where did the fire start. However, 16 luxurious tents have been burnt down. But tourists in the tents either rushed out or rescued on time and therefore nobody has been injured,” Dinesh Vadhwana, chief fire officer of Diu told The Indian Express.
Three water bowsers of Diu fire and emergency service, one water bowser from Diu airport and two water tankers of public works department were pressed into service to control the fire. “We managed to put out the fire at around 1:30 PM but could not save the 16 tents,” Vadhwana further said.
There were 60 tents in the Festival Village but the rest were saved. Police said they suspected electric short-circuit as the cause of the fire. “The fire started from inside a tent and therefore we do not know exactly what sparked it off. However, we suspect electric short-circuit in some airconditionining unit or some other electrical appliances could have started it. We shall analyse CCTV footage to get some clue,” Sameer Sharma, superintendent of Diu police said.
Beach festival or Festa De Diu is a major tourist attraction in the Union Territory located off Saurashtra coast in Gujarat. President Pranab Mukherji had inaugurated the three-month long festival on December 1. Despite the fire, officers in the tourism department of Diu administration said that the festival will go on. “Only 16 tents have been burnt and there is no case of human injury or casualty. We are assessing the damage caused by the fire. But the festival will go on,” said Laxman Bamania, information assistant with the tourism department.
This is second incident of major fire in Diu in three weeks. A fire on Vanakbara harbour of Diu on December 13 had gutted 30 huts of fishermen, five fishing trawlers and scores of vehicles.
Manish Aggarwal, inspector general of police of Daman and Diu said normalcy had returned to the Festival Village after the fire was put out. “We have made alternative arrangements to accommodate those tourists whose tents burnt down in the fire. In fact a large group of them was to check out. Normalcy has returned to the village and the festival will go on. The contractors have ordered material to set up new tents at the place of those which burnt down in the fire.”