3 yr old suffocated to death, others in hospital, LG orders magisterial inquiry

Major fire mishap in city
Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
29 May 2018

A fire mishap in city claimed a 3 year old child on Tuesday, while other  visitors are undergoing treatment at GB Pant Hospital here. The blaze was reported at Hotel North Reef at Dollygunj in the early hours today when 19 rooms of the total 28 were occupied by around 40 guests. While actual cause of fire in the basement is under investigation, guests reportedly rushed towards the terrace and in the absence of any emergency exits, many of them suffocated in the smoke. Fire fighters of all ranks, police personnel participated in the relief and rescue operation during which Sub Inspector ML Paul, Station In-charge of Fire Station, Pahargaon suffered injuries and is currently under medical observation.
Speaking to EOI, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Fire) admitted that the hotel owner did not follow fire safety norms which caused the disaster today. The hotel manager, and owner, Mr  Indra Sarkar has been arrested, while other articles like floor mats, chemicals etc kept close to electrical fittings have been seized. A probe has been ordered into the incident, he said. The Deputy Commissioner of South Andaman also visited GB Pant Hospital to inquire about the well-being of the injured.
In an official release, the Lt. Governor, Admiral D K Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM (Retd.) expressed his deep condolences to the family over the tragic death of a three year old child in a fire accident. He visited the GB Pant Hospital and enquired about the medical care of the other tourists of the hotel who were admitted in the hospital due to inhaling of smoke in the fire accident. He also directed the DHS to take special care in treating these tourists. The Lt Governor has also ordered that a magisterial inquiry be instituted into the incident.
Later, the Lt Governor reviewed the overall situation at a meeting held at Raj Niwas. The Chief Secretary (I/C), Secretaries of all departments including Director General of Police and PCCF were present in the meeting. The Lt Governor desired that a stringent fire safety mechanism and its implementation at ground level in municipal as well as in rural areas have to be strictly ensured.
A comprehensive Fire Safety Audit of all public premises including hotels, restaurants, hotels, guest houses, resorts etc., will be undertaken immediately by the Fire Service Unit of the A&N Police.  The Lt Governor directed to ensure that all the up-coming buildings have mandatory provisions of laid down fire safety norms. Directions were also given for review and further strengthening of the ambulance facilities, the release added.