Two were killed and 15 others were injured in a fire that broke out at a scrap market in Old Kota in Rajasthan, late on Tuesday night. The fire reportedly began at around 9.45 pm due to a short circuit in one of the shops. It soon spread to other shops in the market, resulting in the explosion of five cylinders placed in an adjacent shop.
According to Rajasthan Patrika, the two victims were identified as 30-year-old Sizaaudin and 26-year-old Akbar Hussain, three others suffered severe burns while a dozen others sustained first degree burns. The injured were admitted in ABS hospital, where more than 50 doctors were called in to treat the injured in the emergency ward.
Eyewitnesses told media that the fire spread after it came in contact with diesel canisters stored in almost all the scrap shops in the market. The market and nearby houses were vacated by the police and people were escorted to safety.
Many complained about the unpreparedness of the fire department as they took more than half an hour to reach the spot. Eyewitnesses said that the fire services were informed immediately after the fire broke but they responded very late.
More than 150 police personnel were deployed in the area to help the residents and shop owners in shifting to safer places, IG Police, District collector and municipal officials were also present at the site.