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Rajkot game zone blaze toll rises to 28; FIR says entertainment zone had no fire department NOC

Rajkot fire 1

AHMEDABAD, MAY 26: The death toll in the devastating fire at TRP Gaming Zone rose to 28, including 4 children, on Sunday.
Hours after the blaze, the Rajkot Taluka police registered a First Information Report (FIR) based on a complaint by Sub-Inspector of police Pragnesh Trajia.
The FIR held the owner of the TRP Zone responsible for the massive fire, as it alleged negligence in ensuring safety measures.
The complaint stated that despite knowing the severe fire risk, the owner operated the gaming zone without effective firefighting equipment or a Fire Department NOC.
The gaming zone, constructed using iron angles and galvanized sheets, lacked adequate safety features, according to the FIR. Despite the presence of electrical wiring and AC vents, the absence of firefighting equipment further exacerbated the disaster.
“The Owner of the TRP Zone constructed a gaming area using an iron and sheet fabrication structure, approximately 50 meters wide, 60 meters long, and 2 to 3 floors high. Despite knowing the severe fire risk, they operated the gaming zone without effective firefighting equipment or a Fire Department NOC. This reckless action, taken with full awareness of the 100% chance of human death or injury in the event of a fire, put numerous lives in jeopardy.” The FIR stated.
“A total of 28 people have died in this game zone. In this serious fire incident, the owner of the TRP Game Zone, including Dhaval Thakkar, proprietor of
Dhaval Corporation, and the partners of Raceway Enterprise ~ Ashok Singh Jadeja, Kirit Singh Jadeja, Prakash Hiran, Yuvraj Singh Solanki, and Rahul Rathore ~ have been accused. A case has been registered under IPC Sections 304, 308, 337, 338, and 114”, the FIR reads.
The Gujarat High Court has also taken suo motu cognizance of the incident, describing it as a “man-made disaster”” The Court is set to hear the matter on Monday, May 27, and may issue directives regarding safety standards in gaming zones across the State.
The fire, which broke out around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at the 2-story recreational facility in Rajkot, was packed with around 300 people due to the summer vacation and weekend amidst sweltering weather, officials said. The fire caused chaos as some managed to escape while others were trapped by collapsing temporary structures.
The investigation in the case has been handed over to the crime branch and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Rajkot police headed by Joint Additional Commissioner of Police Vidhi Chaudhary, he said.
Notably, the Gujarat government has also formed a 5-member SIT headed by State Additional Director General of Police Subhash Trivedi to investigate the incident.
Bhargava said, “All our efforts will be to complete the investigation and file a charge-sheet at the earliest. For this, a forensic science laboratory (FSL) team has reached here from Gandhinagar, and all other required action will be taken…We have also asked the State Government to appoint a special public prosecutor.” Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel visited the incident site on Sunday morning and a hospital where the injured persons were admitted.
The CM has announced an ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of each of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to each injured.
(TNIE & PTI))

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