PANAJI: In a scare, a "minor fire" broke out on Friday afternoon in a school laboratory, located adjacent to a building complex in South Goa's Margao town, where the strongroom housing electronic voting machines (EVMs) used for polling in the South Goa Lok Sabha seat and an Assembly bypoll were stored.
According to a statement from the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, all the EVMs are safe and the blaze has been doused with the help of fire tenders.
"A minor incident was reported at the bio laboratory of the Multi-purpose Higher Secondary School at Margao today, which is adjacent to the Government College of Commerce and Economics, where the strongroom for parliamentary constituency South Goa and Assembly constituency Shiroda is located," the statement said.
The strongroom contained 810 EVMs which were used for polling for the South Goa Lok Sabha seat and the Shiroda Assembly bypoll, both of which were held on April 23.
According to the police, a security guard noticed smoke emanating from a window on the school's second floor after which measures were taken to douse the blaze.
"The smoke was put out immediately with the help of personnel from Fire and Emergency Services Department who had accompanied the magistrate and the police," the statement said, adding that the cause of the fire was a "technical fault".
Electricity supply has been disabled in the building by the poll authorities as a precautionary measure.