Hyderabad: Fire dept to crack down on safety violators

Hyderabad: The fire department is likely to initiate a big crackdown to check fire safety violations following a series of major ‘life-claiming’ incidents in the last year.

Around 11 persons were killed in a fire accident at a scrap godown at Bholakpur in Musheerabad in March last year. A few months later in September another eight were suffocated to death when a fire broke out at Ruby Hotel and Lodge in Secunderabad in September.

The latest incident took place at Minister’s Road in Secunderabad where efforts to trace the bodies of missing persons continue. Charred remains of one person have been found while efforts are on to find two more persons who are also feared dead.

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A high-level meeting was called by the Telangana government to initiate actionable steps on Monday. It was later postponed to Wednesday due to administrative issues.

“At the meeting the issue will be discussed at length. Based on the orders the fire department will plan its course of action,” said a senior official of the Telangana Disaster Response and Fire Services Department.

However, the officials prior to the Minister’s Road fire incident had started inspecting buildings, particularly lodges, hotels and other related accommodations. Notices were issued wherever discrepancies were found.

Major violations were noticed during the inspections where hotels functioned on the ground floor of buildings and on upper floors the management established lodges.

Inspectors also found that second staircases or alternate escape routes were not constructed and the structures missed proper setbacks for fire personnel to move around and work.