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Rajkot fire tragedy: Failure on multiple fronts, finds SIT

Rajkot, May 30, 2024
The Special Investigation Team’s report on the Rajkot fire incident in Gujarat has highlighted several loopholes and identified key issues related to the police, fire department, municipality, and road-building authorities, said sources on Thursday.

Among the notable findings, the SIT revealed that only a 4 to 5-foot wide ladder led to the first floor, raising serious safety concerns.

The SIT has pointed out “negligence by Police Inspector N.I. Rathore and V.R. Patel in issuing licenses.

The sources have said that both officers failed to verify the fire NOC and did not obtain municipal approval for the temporary structure of the Game Zone.

The SIT has made six specific observations regarding the municipality’s actions, noting that the TRP Game Zone had been operating for over three years without proper oversight despite being classified as a temporary structure.

The SIT report also criticized officials, saying, “Gautam Joshi and Jaideep Chaudhary for not taking action against unauthorised non-agricultural, commercial activities. The local station fire officer did not conduct necessary verifications.”

Additionally, the SIT found that “officials Paras Kothia and M.R. Suma from the road and building department failed to inspect the site adequately. The stairs from the first floor to the ground floor were not checked, contributing to the tragedy.”

A massive fire broke out at an indoor game zone in Gujarat’s Rajkot city on May 25, killing 27 people, including children. The zone had been set up under a tin shed with air-conditioners mounted on it. The shed collapsed after the fire broke out trapping people underneath.

Five culprits have been arrested in the case so far.(Agency)

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