A massive fire broke out in a cracker market at the Dusshera Grounds in Faridabad on Tuesday evening. No one was hurt.
The incident triggered protests in the area. Initial estimates suggest the fire caused a loss of over over Rs. 3 crore.
The Dusshera ground located in the New Industrial Township (NIT) area is usually used to set up stalls for selling crackers in the run-up to Diwali.
The administration gives licences to interested people who set up cracker stalls. Every year, about 400 to 500 stalls are set up on the grounds. Till Tuesday evening, nearly 200 stalls had come up.
Eyewitnesses said sparks in two stalls led to the blaze. A large number of fireworks exploded togetherm, leading to panic in the area.Buyers ran for their lives leaving their cars parked at the spot. The incident caused massive traffic snarls in NIT area.
“We had given licences for 204 stalls till now though the Dusshera ground accommodates over 500 stalls,” said Mahavir, SDM of Faridabad. “Prima facie, it appears that a few sparks broke out from a genset installed near stall number 9 or 10. The incident will be investigated,” he added.
A number of motorcycles and a car were gutted in the massive fire. There was utter chaos with people trying to escape to safety.
A few slum clusters also caught fire.
“The incident occurred around 6.30 pm. I saw my tent up in flames. I immediately shifted my family to another place,” said one Dev Kumar, who makes and sells clay idols.
Chief Minister elect Manohar Lal Khattar talked to Faridabad deputy commissioner over the phone and directed him to ensure safety of the district in view of Tuesday’s incident. A magisterial enquiry has also been initiated into the incident.
In yet another incident, more than 100 shanties were gutted in a major fire that broke out near Sushant Lok-1 slums cluster on Tuesday in Gurgaon.
The incident took place when a labourer was cooking food on a coal burner. No one was reported hurt in the fire. The fire soon engulfed the entire area and more than 100 huts were gutted.
PTI photos of the scene below