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May 26, 2024

Tragic Fire in Rajkot Game Zone Claims 27 Lives

A devastating fire at a game zone in Rajkot, Gujarat, claimed the lives of at least 27 people, including children, on Saturday evening. The incident occurred at the TRP game zone on Nana-Mava Road, a popular spot for families enjoying summer vacation outings.

The fire, which erupted around 4:30 pm, quickly consumed the fibre dome structure built for gaming activities, causing it to collapse. Relief and rescue operations have been ongoing for more than five hours as authorities work to clear debris and account for victims.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vinayak Patel confirmed the death toll at 22, with bodies so severely charred that identification has been challenging. Eyewitnesses reported that many people, including children, were inside the game zone when the fire broke out.

Rajkot Collector Prabhav Joshi stated that the Fire Control Room received a distress call at approximately 4:30 pm. Fire tenders and ambulances were promptly dispatched to the scene to extinguish the flames and aid in rescue efforts. Despite their swift response, the exact cause of the fire remains unknown.

In response to the tragedy, the state government has established a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to determine the cause of the fire and ensure accountability. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief over the incident and assured that local authorities are providing all possible assistance to the affected families. He spoke with Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who is overseeing the relief efforts.

“The fire tragedy in Rajkot has saddened us all,” Modi stated on X (formerly Twitter). “In my telephone conversation with him, Gujarat CM Bhupendrabhai Patel Ji informed me about the ongoing efforts to provide assistance to those affected.”

Chief Minister Patel announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured. He emphasized the importance of preventing such incidents in the future and promised that any negligence would not be tolerated.

Rajkot Police Commissioner Raju Bhargav addressed the media, confirming that an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire. He also instructed all gaming zones in the city to cease operations temporarily as a precautionary measure.

“The fire tragedy in Rajkot is heart-wrenching. I express my heartfelt condolences to those who lost their lives and their families. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Patel tweeted. He reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the victims and preventing similar incidents in the future.

The Rajkot fire has left the community in shock and mourning. As rescue operations continue, the focus remains on providing support to the affected families and conducting a thorough investigation to uncover the cause of the tragedy. The swift action by local authorities and the state government underscores the seriousness of the incident and the commitment to ensuring that such a catastrophe does not recur.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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