A day before the Kumbh Mela is scheduled to begin, a fire broke out at one of the temporary camps set up for the mega event. PTI quoted police officials as saying that a cylinder blast caused the blaze at a camp in Digambar Akhada in Prayagraj on Monday.
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According to officials, the fire broke out around 12.45 pm. Soon after, six fire tenders and eight ambulances were rushed to the spot. The firefighters — with the help of the event administration, fire brigade, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) — took about 10 minutes to bring the blaze, which had engulfed the makeshift structure at the venue, under control.
Two vehicles and some materials kept at the site were damaged in the fire. There were no reports of casualties.
India Today reported that twelve tents had caught fire in the incident. The head of the Digambar Ani Akhada told PTI the fire began at an adjoining tent and spread to the kitchen of their camp, triggering the cylinder blast.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to immediately grant compensation for the loss. He also directed the fire department to inspect all the tents and take necessary precautions, an official spokesperson said in Lucknow.
The incident took place despite the presence of elaborate security measures taken in view of the 55-day long Kumbh Mela, which begins on 15 January and will go on till 4 March.
The fair is the largest human congregation in the world, with over 130 million pilgrims expected to participate in the festival.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Jan 14, 2019 15:26 PM