Meerut trade fair fire kills 50; 100 hurt

The fire broke out due to short circuit at 'Brand India' fair in Victoria Park. Helpline number: 0121 - 2642550

india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 02:55 IST

At least 50 people were charred to death and more than 100 injured, some of them seriously, in a devastating fire that ravaged a consumer goods fair here on Monday evening.

Senior Superintendent of Police Rajeev Sabarwal said 50 people died and 115 sustained burn injuries. While 55 were undergoing treatment in various hospitals, 60 others were discharged after first aid.

The fire, apparently triggered by a short circuit, broke out at one of the pandals around 1730 hours when an estimated 2,000 people were at the "Brand India" fair at Victoria Park where products of leading multinational companies dealing in electronic goods and kitchen appliances were on display.

The blaze soon engulfed and virtually the entire air-conditioned makeshift complex turned into an inferno.

Bodies charred beyond recognition lay scattered as firefighters with the help of locals and police battled for 90 minutes to contain leaping flames.

Plumes of black smoke engulfed the area and visitors scrambled to flee the spot. Blackened steel frames were all that remained of the makeshift tents that had been set up as stalls at the fair which began three days ago and was to end on Monday.

The fire fury aggravated when cooking gas cylinders used by makeshift eateries at the fair venue exploded, officials said.

First Published: Apr 10, 2006 18:42 IST