LUCKNOW: At least five people died and four others were critically injured in a major fire at two hotels in the city on Tuesday morning. The fire started at a hotel in the Charbagh area near the railway station at around 6 am and spread to an adjacent hotel, police said.
About 60 people were staying in the two hotels when the incident occurred. While five people died and four others were hospitalised with severe burns, about 55 people, including the hotel staff, were safely evacuated. Police said around 15 fire tenders were pressed into service to control the blaze.
A short circuit is believed to have caused the fire. ADG, Lucknow zone, has been directed to inquire into the incident, Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said.
“I have come to know that the mishap took place reportedly due to short circuit. We will inquire into the exact cause and come out with a report in a week,” minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who visited the site, said.
“This is indeed a heart-wrenching incident. Its complete assessment is yet to be done,” she added.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the loss of lives.
“The Chief Minister has directed officials to ensure proper medical care for the injured,” an official spokesperson said.
Two of the deceased were identified as Priyanash Sharma (40) from Aligarh and 18-month girl Maher from Kanpur.
The government announced an ex gratia of `2 lakh for family members of each of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for each of the grievously injured.
Police said the map of one of the hotels was not approved, while there was no staff to handle firefighting equipment in the neighbouring hotel. Cases have been registered against the owners of both the hotels under various sections of the IPC.