50 killed in Meerut trade fair inferno
Meerut, Apr 10 (UNI) At least 50 people, including women and children, were burnt to death and more than 100 injured when a devastating fire swept through a trade exhibition at the Victoria Park here this evening, in the worst-ever such tragedy in Uttar Pradesh in recent times.
The authorities said the death toll could be much higher because the bodies were still being extricated from the venue of the blaze, which erupted at 1745 hrs.
All the city hospitals and nursing homes were flooded with the injured and wailing relatives of the victims as chaos prevailed all over the city soon after the fire, which engulfed all the three 'pandals' erected for the famous "Brand India Consumer Show".
District Magistrate Ram Kishan told UNI that more than 40 bodies, all of them charred beyond recognition, had already reached the mortuary.
The authorities had pressed at least a dozen fire tenders into service to extinguish the flames. Huge clouds of smoke were still billowing out of the venue of the fire.
The authorities announced an ex-gratia of Rs two lakhs for the families of each of the victims of the devastating fire.
The families of each of the grievously injured will get Rs 50,000 while those with minor injuries will get Rs 25,000 each.
A magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the fire.
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