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8 killed in major fire at e-bike showroom in Secunderabad

Police officials said that the fire broke out at the electric scooter showroom on the ground floor of the building, and soon spread upwards to a five-storey hotel.

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Hyderabad: At least 8 people have been killed and several others injured in a major fire that broke out in an electric bike showroom situated in the ground floor of a multi-storied building in Telangana’s Secunderabad late on Monday night.

Police officials said that the fire broke out at the electric scooter showroom on the ground floor of the building, and soon spread upwards to a five-storey hotel, where at least 25 guests were staying.

It is reported that all the eight people seemed to have died because of asphyxiation caused by the smoke and 11 others were injured.

Preliminary investigations have identified faulty battery cells and battery modules among the main causes of the fire.

Media reports suggest the injured were immediately rushed to the Gandhi Hospital and two of them succumbed to burns. The condition of at least four others is said to be serious.

The building has fire sprinklers but they did not function at the time. There were also no emergency exits in the building, which forced some of the guests to jump from the windows, according to the report.

The latest fire broke out late on Monday in a hotel basement housing the showroom with some two dozen electric scooters in the southern city of Secunderabad, news agency Reuter quoted police as saying.

“There were electric scooters parked where the fire started,” city police official Chandana Deepti told the news agency.

“We don’t know if it started because of overcharging and then spread or whether it started elsewhere. That is still being established.”

“Those staying on the first and second floors were overpowered by smoke and the maximum casualties are from those floors,” C.V. Anand, the police chief of the neighbouring city of Hyderabad said.

The injured were immediately rushed to the Gandhi Hospital and two of them succumbed to burns. The condition of at least four others is said to be serious.

PM Modi saddened by the loss of lives

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the deaths and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the family members of the people who died in the mishap, and Rs 50,000 each for the injured.

Telangana Home Minister Mohammad Mehmood Ali condoled the loss of lives and said a probe has been ordered to ascertain the exact cause of the fire.

“Fire brigade teams tried their best to rescue people from the lodge but due to heavy smoke, some people died. We are probing how the incident happened and a case has been registered,” he said.

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