Six killed in Hyderabad apartment fire
Six people, including a week-old baby, were killed in a massive fire that broke out in sheds erected for a film shoot and later spread to a residential building at Poppalaguda on the city's outskirts, police said Monday.
Three others were injured in the tragedy Sunday night, one of the worst fire accidents in the city in recent times.
The incident occurred at Sriramnagar colony at Poppalaguda in Ranga Reddy district.
Two women and a week-old baby were among those killed. The building watchman died of suffocation after he was trapped in the lift.
After battling for nearly two hours, three fire tenders and fire fighting personnel managed to douse the flames, which had engulfed four floors of the apartment building.
According to police, plastic and other combustible material used for film shooting was dumped in a shed, which caught fire around 8.30 a.m.
Witnesses said that within a few minutes, flames and smoke engulfed the adjacent Baba Nivas apartment. The staircase close to the shed filled with thick smoke, making it impossible for residents to escape.
Locals and fire fighting personnel rescued some people from the other side of the building.
State Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy, who rushed to the scene and supervised rescue and relief work, announced an inquiry into the cause of the fire. The blaze was suspected to have been caused by short circuit.
As locals complained that fire tenders reached late, causing the high casualty figure, the home minister explained that the delay was because fire station personnel took time to trace the locality.
She said awareness would be created among the fire services staff about the new residential areas on the city's periphery.