Fire breaks out near Aero India 2019 venue: 300 cars gutted in blaze; one firefighter sustains minor injuries

The cause of the fire near Bengaluru's Yelahanka air base is yet to be ascertained, but authorities suspect that it was caused by a lit cigarette thrown onto dry grass. The flames then spread to parking area number 5.

FP Staff February 23, 2019 13:59:54 IST
  • A massive fire broke out on Saturday at the car parking area at the Yelahanka air base, which is also the venue of the Aero India 2019 show in Bengaluru

  • According to the fire department, 80 to 100 cars have been gutted in the blaze

  • One fire-fighter from Channapatna fire station sustained minor injuries during firefighting operations

A massive fire broke out on Saturday in the car parking area of Bengaluru's Yelahanka air base, which is also the venue of the Aero India 2019 show.  Nearly 300 cars were gutted in the blaze, PTI reported.

Fire tenders and ambulances have been rushed to the spot to douse the flames and treat any people suffering burns. However, no casualties were reported in the blaze suspected to have been caused by dry grass fire aided by heavy winds, sources said, adding the parking area was "far away" from the air force station.

The DGP Fire Services MN Reddi said in a tweet. "....no injuries or any harm to people reported. Likely cause: dry grass fire aided by heavy winds."

Confirming that there were no casualties in the fire incident, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy urged people to not panic and said he has directed officials to take necessary steps. "No need to panic with regards to fire incident during the Aero India show. There is no loss of life. There are reports about vehicles getting burnt," he said in a tweet in Kannada.

The 12th edition of the five-day air show was unaffected by the incident, which came three days after two jets of Indian Air Force's aerobatic team Surya Kiran crashed, killing a pilot on the opening day of the event.

The scheduled morning aerobatic display was over before the fire broke out around noon while the afternoon programme was unhindered, Defence Public Relations Officer HL Guruprasad said. The events slated for Sunday, the final day, would go ahead as planned, he said.

According to a report from The News Minute, one fire-fighter from Channapatna fire station, Rakesh, sustained minor injuries during operations. He was one of the firefighters deployed at the Aero India venue as part of the security cover and was one of the first responders. While he was trying to douse the fire, he received minor injuries due to glass shards from one of the damaged cars. He received treatment and returned to carry out firefighting operations.

In view of the incident, the Bengaluru airport issued an advisory to commuters, warning of increased traffic and congestion on Yelehanka road. The five-day Aero Show 2019 began on Wednesday.

With inputs from PTI

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