Welding Sparks May Have Caused Huge Fire At Gujarat Gaming Zone

A CCTV footage of the fire at a gaming site at Gujarat’s Rajkot that is being widely circulated on social media, shows the blaze had started while welding. Twenty-eight people, nine of them children, were killed in the massive blaze that broke out on Saturday.

The footage, which could not be independently verified by NDTV, shows the fire spreading from the sparks emitted during the welding.  Some of the sparks fell on a pile of plastic that lay nearby and it caught fire, which proved impossible to contain despite efforts by the workers.

A police case has been filed against six partners of the game zone, which was operating without a license. The police said they have arrested two persons — the owner and the manager of the site — which did not even have a fire safety certificate.

A Special Bench of the Gujarat High Court that took suo motu cognizance of the matter today, said it was prima facie a “man-made disaster”. Pointing to reports that claimed the site was operating without proper approvals, the court also noted that a stock of highly inflammable material — petrol, fibre, and fibre glass sheets — were stored at the premises.

Sources have told NDTV that the gaming zone did not have the licences to operate, and there was no record of a fire clearance from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation.

The state police chief, meanwhile, has issued instructions that all the game zones in the state be inspected those running without fire safety permission be closed down.

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