February 24th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News   No Comments »
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Another ‘Uphaar’ type tragedy happened in Bangalore where ‘Carlton Towers’, a seven storey building caught fire at around 4-00 pm Tuesday. Nine people, including three women, died and 90 others were injured, 19 of them are reported to be serious, as on Wednesday morning, after the major fire spread to the third, fourth and fifth floors of the building. 

Three persons died due to suataining fatal injuries after jumping from the top floors of the building while six lost their lives due to severe burns and asphyxiation, sources at Manipal Hospital where they were rushed, said. 

Carlton Towers’ has offices of various business houses and has a total of seven floors. 

The Chief Minister B.S. Yedurappa, has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. Two lakh each to those killed and a sum of Rs,50,000 each to those injured. 

Carlton Towers is an extremely busy commercial complex situated in Domlur area of Bangalore on the Old Airport Road and it was a very sad incident that a short circuit on the seventh floor started the fire and the chaos that followed. Fifteen fire tenders were pressed into service who took more than two hours to contain the blaze and evacuate the people. 

Fire at Carlton Towers

Three persons died because they had jumped down from the upper floors for fear of being burnt alive so also due to lack of oxygen resulting to asphyxiation. The major problem for the people who were trapped inside was the accumulation of smoke and they were not in a position to break the toughened glass fitted there as the building was air-conditioned. The smoke also made its way to the upper floors via the air-conditioner duct which was fitted on every floor. 

Furthermore, the excessive smoke coupled with panic also obstructed people to find the emergency exits. They tried to go down via lifts which also had stopped working due the current failure. A short-circuit somewhere inside the building has been blamed to spark the fire. 

A Fire-officer, later told the media that the fire started due to the electrical wire in the lift and then spread to the upper floors. When the fire broke out people started screaming and lots of onlookers also gathered on the roads who were also responsible for obstructing the work of the firemen on duty. 

After more than two hours the fire was brought under control and the trapped persons evacuated. 

The usual story of blame game will now begin. It has already been said that the police will question the builder about the emergency exit and the air-conditioner duct. Will take another decade or so till the dead or the seriously injured could think of getting the justice as they had died or are injured for no fault of theirs. 

Surprisingly, fire at Carlton Towers, Bangalore  was the fourth trending topic in the world on Twitter  a few minutes after 4.00 pm. For more than an hour twitter was busy with whatever news it could muster on Carlton Towers and were passing it on  to others tweeples. None of the TV channels had any clue as to what was going on there for well over 40 minutes and thereafter ‘Aaj-Tak’ hindi news channel was the first one to break  the news and then the rest of the channels followed suit.

Shame on our TV news channels for such irresponsible and delayed reporting  of such an important news item.

Ravi Matah

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