UP: Death toll in Durga puja pandal fire rises to 5

Bhadohi (UP), Oct 3 The death toll in the Durga Puja pandal fire in Bhadohi district has gone up to five, an official said on Monday.
A 12-year-old boy was killed and at least 52 people were injured after a fire broke out at a Durga Puja pandal in Aurai town of Bhadohi district, late on Sunday night.
The deceased have been identified as Ankush Soni (12), Jaya Devi (45), Naveen (10), Aarti Chaubey (48) and Harshvardhan.
A total of 67 people were injured in the incident of which the condition of three is stated to be critical.
Bhadohi district magistrate Gaurang Rathi said prima facie, a short circuit appeared to be cause of the fire.
The incident took place in a pandal near Aurai Police station.
“An incident took place at the time of ‘aarti’ (prayers), which was the peak time. There were around 150 people inside the pandal. Over 30 people suffered burn injuries after which some were rushed to Surya Trauma Centre, Community Health Centre, Gopiganj and Anand hospital,” the official said.
The district magistrate further said, “While a short circuit appears to be the main cause of the fire, we are waiting a confirmation from our technical team, which is investigating the case.”
Those who suffered severe burn injuries and were taken to Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Trauma Centre in Varanasi.
Varanasi police commissioner Satish Ganesh said, “Soon after getting information that the victims are being brought to BHU Trauma centre, we created a Green Corridor to ensure hassle-free transportation of the victims.”
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed that all puja pandals and religious events should compulsorily carry out fire and security audits.
The move comes after a short-circuit reportedly caused a major fire in a puja pandal in Bhadohi district that left five dead and over 60 injured on Sunday night.

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