Fire In Secunderabad Kills 8; PM Modi, Telangana Govt Announce Ex-Gratia

Eight people were killed in a midnight fire that is suspected to have originated from an electric bike showroom in Secunderabad.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Image for representational purposes only. (Photo: Tommaso Pecchioli/Unsplash)</p></div>
Image for representational purposes only. (Photo: Tommaso Pecchioli/Unsplash)

Eight people, including a woman staying in a hotel, were killed in a midnight fire that is suspected to have originated from an electric bike showroom in Secunderabad.

Ten others were injured and rushed to various hospitals, police said on Monday. Most of the victims were asphyxiated.

According to one of the occupants of the hotel who later lodged a police complaint, he noticed smoke and fire coming out of the cellar.

He, along with four others, escaped from the fifth floor to the next building and later called '100' for help.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Telangana Minister KT Ramarao condoled the loss of lives and announced ex-gratia on behalf of the Centre and the state government.

The fire and smoke from the showroom engulfed the hotel Ruby Pride located above the showroom.

"It appears there are 23 rooms on all the four floors in the hotel. The smoke spread through the staircase from the bottom to the top floor and engulfed all the floors. Some people sleeping on the first and second floors came to the corridor through the thick smoke and died of asphyxiation," Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand who visited the spot told reporters.

The exact reason for the blaze would be known after the Fire Department's investigation, he said.

"The cellar which usually should be used for parking -- obviously they are doing something else. That is a matter of inquiry," the official added.

The police said there were 25 people staying in the hotel at the time of the incident.

“It is suspected that either an e-bike or a generator placed in the bike showroom exploded, leading to the fire,” they said.

The e-bike showroom is being run illegally in the cellar for the past one year.

The police booked cases under Sections 304 Part-II (having knowledge that death may be caused by the act), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of IPC and Section B of the Explosives Act against the owners of the hotel and showroom.

Firefighters rescued seven guests trapped in the building. They were shifted to hospitals.

TV visuals showed some people trying to jump out of the hotel windows in a bid to escape the fire.

Modi said he was saddened by the loss of lives and announced Rs 2 lakh under the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.

"Saddened by the loss of lives due to a fire in Secunderabad, Telangana. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF would be paid to the next of kin of each deceased; Rs. 50,000 for the injured," he tweeted.

Telangana Minister for IT and Industries KT Rama Rao, expressing grief through a statement, said the state government would offer Rs 3 lakh as ex-gratia to the families of the deceased.