Sarvana Stores fire claims two lives

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Chennai, Sep 2 (UNI) The major fire which broke out at Saravana Stores, the common man's shopping destination at the commercial Ranganathan Street in T Nagar area, has claimed two lives.

Nearly 24 hours after the worst-ever fire accident in the city, the bodies of two employees of the store -- Kottasamy (27) of Tenkasi in Southern Tirunelveli District and Ramajayam (22) from Tuticorin District -- were recovered by the Fire and Rescue Services Department officials.

Fire service sources said both the bodies, found on the fifth floor where they were sleeping in the godown to guard the consumer products, were charred beyond recognition.

The bodies, retrieved from the debris around 0700 hrs, were sent to Government Royapettah Hospital for post mortem.

Meanwhile, after hectic parleys with the police and fire service personnel, normalcy returned in the bustling street since noon today as people turned up for shopping in large numbers on the eve of 'Ganesh Chathurthi' festival.

Initially, police refused permission for the shopkeepers to open the shops as the ill-fated building, which had developed innumerable cracks, was weakened following the mishap and was facing imminent danger of collapse.

Several rounds of talks between the Ranganathan Street Merchants Association and police broke the ice after police decided to open the Street and placing barricades near Saravana stores.

(ED PICK UP SUITABLY FROM EARLIER SERIES).

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