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Secunderabad fire: Illegal Showroom, Flouting Safety Norms, Lack of Infrastructure & Fire equipment led to death of 8, Owners Absconding…..

Hyderabad: The Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department, informed that it received a distress call on Monday at 9.37 p.m of a fire at Gemopai Electric Scooters and Ruby Pride Luxury Hotel, Secunderabad.

After receiving the call, initially, a Multi-Purpose Tender and Bronto Sky Lift arrived at the spot within five minutes and six vehicles equipped with smoke exhausts started for the spot.

The fire department saved the lives of 17 persons including 11 persons who were injured. Enquiries revealed that the fire broke out following an explosion of electrical batteries at an e-bike showroom located on the ground floor of the building.

There were 25 occupants in the hotel when a blaze engulfed the building. It was suspected that either an e-bike or a generator placed in the motor showroom exploded leading to the fire. 

The Ruby Hotel and Gemopai electric scooters were owned by Rajender Singh Bugga, Sumeet Singh and brothers, who were illegally running the electrical scooters in the cellar of the building.

The fire department fighters faced several problems in their attempts to douse the fire, including zero visibility due to the thick smoke. The building had only a single staircase for escape and an alternate stairway was not provided.

The fire fighting equipment was installed but failed to work owing to the grave conditons. 

The fire crew entered the building from the top wearing personal protection equipment and controlled the fire. 

The department informed that fire fighting equipment installed in the building was not in working condition and no proper ventilation was provided forcing the fire department to make several vents for the elimination of the smoke.

The building also has mixed occupancy and was used for commercial and residential (lodge) purposes, with the basement being illegally used for commercial purposed. The staircase was provided around the lift which the department deemed as dangerous. “There was no emergency lighting and no smoke management,” Regional Fire Officer, V Papaiah said in a press release.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and property loss is under assessment.

Fire breaks out in e-bike showroom in Secunderabad:

The fire accident took place at Ruby Hotel near Passport Office, Secunderabad late on Monday night, which claimed 8 lives. The police released a list of deceased and injured here on Tuesday.

According to the release, the accident occurred on Monday night at around 9:30 pm. An explosion occurred on the ground floor of the Ruby Pride Luxury Hotel. The explosion is said to be from an e-bike showroom located on the ground floor.

According to primary investigations, the police said that the explosion is suspected to be either from an e-bike or a generator placed in the showroom.

The building comprises five floors with 28 rooms. At the time of the accident, there were around 25 occupants in the hotel.

“Since there was no proper ventilation, the smoke filled the lobbies of the hotel upstairs and those staying in rooms with doors closed apparently did not know anything till the smoke engulfed the entire building,” Assistant Commissioner of Police B. Ramesh said.

Police release mentioned that the Ruby Hotel and the e-bike showroom were being illegally run by Rajender Singh Bugga, Sumeet Singh and brothers and they have been booked for culpable homicide.

“They have been illegally running the electrical scooters for about a year now,” the release stated.

While eight persons, including a woman, perished in the incident with one of the bodies yet to be identified, ten sustained injuries. The remaining escaped through the fifth floor.

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‘Illegally-run’ showroom, flouting safety norms — what led to Secunderabad fire that killed 8

The fire emanated from the e-bike showroom and quickly leapt up to its upper floors where a hotel is located. According to police, the showroom was being run illegally.

Eight people were killed and 10 injured after a fire broke out at an ‘illegally-run’ electric scooter showroom in Secunderabad Monday night. The blaze emanated from the showroom — named Gemopai Electric Scooters — situated in the building’s cellar and quickly leapt up to its upper floors where a hotel called Ruby Luxury Hotel is located.

According to police, the electric scooter showroom was being run illegally. The incident took place around 9.35 pm Monday.

A case has been registered against the owners — Rajender Singh Bugga, Sumeet Singh and brothers — under IPC section 304 (causing death by negligence), 337 (whoever causes hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment) and others. All accused are absconding.

“There were about 38 scooters in the showroom and we’re still unsure if they were on charge. We also recovered burnt gas cylinders from the hotel. There could have been some leakage there. The fire started from the cellar of the building and spread to other floors of the hotel,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mahankali Division, B. Ramesh told ThePrint.

The reason for the fire is being ascertained but a preliminary investigative note, accessed by ThePrint, shows that the police suspect an explosion from either an e-bike or a generator placed in the showroom that may have caused the fire.

“Two hotel guests, some hotel staff and four others escaped from the building’s fifth floor terrace to the adjacent Yatri Hotel. The fire broke out following an explosion in the electric bike showroom,” the note read. Police sources told ThePrint that a significant number of deaths could be due to asphyxiation.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office Tuesday announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to the injured. The Telangana government also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 3 lakh to the victims’ families.

Fire safety norms violated

The hotel had 28 rooms and 25 people were staying at the time the fire broke out. The victims hailed from Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada, Chennai, Delhi and Cuttack.

“The staircase of the hotel is connected from the ground floor to the top floor. The smoke spread throughout the building. On the first and second floor, people seemed to be sleeping and when they came to the corridor, it would have been full of smoke, leading to breathlessness and suffocation,” Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand told the media.

The Ruby Hotel is located at one of the busiest areas in Secunderabad. The building is packed between other structures on the main road. When ThePrint visited the area, around five burnt gas cylinders were kept outside the building and all that was left in the cellar were charred remains of the electric scooters.

Sources from the Telangana State Disaster Response and Fire Services told ThePrint that the building, with a height of 17.5 meters, should have had multiple exits. But it has only one, indicating that the builders had violated fire safety norms.

Around 50 fire department personnel were involved in the rescue operation, along with a few local people, the police said.

‘When I first saw smoke emanating from the building, I thought it was a minor fire and fire services must be there. But then, we heard screams from the window. Someone saying ‘bachao’ (help) and we saw a family of four screaming from a window. We broke the windows, gathered ladders and pulled people from the first floor down,” Surya Kiran, a local resident who helped in rescue operations, told media.

Kiran added, “We then went to the third floor and it was full of thick black smoke. We broke open the doors to find three people unconscious. We tried dragging them, but they were heavy and by then we were getting affected too. But we managed to rescue them with the help of police.”