Fire under Tiruchy's Thennur bridge sets off warning bells on vacant space misuse

The presence of flammable materials, including husk and rexine foam, reportedly made the flames rage.

Published: 29th October 2021 12:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2021 12:29 PM   |  A+A-

Personnel collecting samples from under the Thennur bridge on Thursday. (Photo | MK Ashok Kumar, EPS)

Express News Service

TIRUCHY: Following a fire breaking out under the Thennur bridge in the wee hours of Thursday and destroying the furniture and other materials stored illegally there, the city Corporation has plunged into action to crack down on such misuse of vacant space. Residents, however, point to having raised the issue several times in the past, and demanded regular inspections by the civic body to prevent such encroachment again.

According to sources, the fire under the bridge that broke out around 1.30 am took about two hours to be brought under control. The presence of flammable materials, including husk and rexine foam, reportedly made the flames rage. Mentioning a sofa company in the vicinity as behind the dumping of such material, Tiruchy fire station officer Milkioraj told TNIE, “On arrival, we noticed several vehicles, which were parked near the location of fire, also up in flames. In averting the fire from causing the fuel tanks of the vehicles to explode, one of our teams focused on the vehicles and put out the flames before it reached the engine or fuel tank.

Being in the middle of a residential area and close to the bridge pillar, the bursting of fuel tanks might have caused major damage." While no casualties were reported in the incident, apart from the damage to furniture, the fire also gutted two mini pick-up vehicles, an autorickshaw and a two-wheeler parked near the bridge.

This has now left concerns of a similar situation arising in Beema Nagar, with some merchants of old furniture using the vacant space under the bridge in the locality for storage of wares. Shaul Hameed, a resident of Beema Nagar, said, "We don't know how the fire broke out in Thennur but this has left a clear signal that such incidents can happen even during the rainy season.

As Beema Nagar is a congested area, such an incident here can put the lives of several people at risk.” Senior Corporation officials, meanwhile, stated that they are taking stern action on the issue. "The Thennur and Beema Nagar bridges are under the control of the State Highways Department. We would convey the issue to them. We have also directed our team to take steps to prevent the storage of material under the bridges.

They will seize such materials," a senior official said. While mentioning to have raised the issue under Thennur bridge “several times”, Nithya Elangovan, a resident of Thennur, said, “Considering the fire incident, the Corporation must conduct regular inspections to prevent the misuse of such vacant space by merchants and scrap dealers. Otherwise, after a few months, they would again place materials under the bridge."



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