9 Dead 60 Injured in Carlton Tower Fire, Bangalore: Short Circuit
The Carlton Tower in the South Indian IT hub of Bangalore, near Domlur flyover on an old airport road, caught fire at 4 PM IST today.
According to V S Acharaya, the Home Minister for Karnataka, 9 people are confirmed dead and more than 60 are reported injured.
Carlton Towers houses TGIF and many offices as well as restaurants. Most of the dead and injured on the 6th and 7th floor tried to escape by jumping off the high floors in sheer panic. There is only one ladder in Bangalore the can reach the 7th and top floor so firemen asked people to jump off the higher floors in its absence.
An eyewitness tells NDTV that he saw firefighters asking people on the top floors to jump, and that when they did, the safety net was unable to hold them. Officials, however, including the Head of Emergency Services, deny this.
Very few people have reported burns and most of the injuries are due to the fall. Most of the injured have been admitted to Manipal Hospital nearby. Doctors at the hospital are confirming that 60 people were admitted to the hospital; the death toll is not yet confirmed.
Manipal Hospital claimed that 7 people were dead on arrival. Most died of suffocation.
Carlton Tower Not Up to Safety Standards
Bangalore is also known for chronic traffic jams and that is making the rescue effort difficult. Worse still, the building was not up to inspection and according to P S Sandhu IG of the Karnatak Police, security procedures were not followed and the emergency exits were not marked properly. The cause of the fire is a suspected short circuit.
B S Manjunath, Regional Fire Officer, said the building plans were not available with the fire department and that was hampering the rescue efforts.
The Carlton Towers fire in Bangalore eventually was controlled and the entire building evacuated. No additional casualties have been badly burnt.