3 killed, 64 injured as fire breaks out in Durga Puja pandal in UP

Three people were killed and 64 others injured after a fire broke out in a Durga Puja pandal here due to overheating of a halogen light, officials said on Monday.

A digital show was going on at the pandal and 300-400 people were inside it when the fire broke out on Sunday night. The pandal was reduced to ashes, they said.

The fire broke out in a Durga Puja pandal in Narthua village, a stone’s throw from Aurai police station, around 9.30 pm on Sunday, District Magistrate Gaurang Rathi said.

A total of 67 people were injured in the fire and three of them — Ankush Soni (12), Jaya Devi (45) and Naveen (10) — died. Three of the injured are stated to be serious, he said.

All the injured have been identified, and the district administration and police have their list, he said, adding that the majority of the people inside the pandal were women and children.

A halogen light at the pandal overheated, causing an electric wire to catch fire at multiple points simultaneously. Soon the fire engulfed the wooden scaffolding and the tent, Rathi said.

The cause of the fire was ascertained by a special probe team constituted by Additional Director General Ram Kumar, the DM said.

Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar said that an FIR has been lodged at Aurai police station.

The Durga Puja had been organised by Ekta Club Pooja Samiti, the officials said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath condoled the loss of lives in the incident, his office said in a tweet on Sunday.

Adityanath has directed officials to ensure that the injured get proper treatment, the Chief Minister’s Officer said.

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