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Friday, December 8, 2023

Fire mishap in Bengaluru Corporation office: Two persons detained

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BENGALURU, Aug 12 (PTI): Karnataka deputy chief minister D K Shivakumar on Saturday said police
have detained two people who had escaped after the fire mishap at the Bengaluru municipal
Corporation office, which left nine people injured.
He said the police have started an investigation into the fire mishap at the Quality Control Laboratory of
the civic agency on Friday.
“Police have to register a case and investigate. Two people had fled. They have been detained. They are
the (BBMP) staff. They ran away soon after the fire. They could have doused fire soon after the incident
as there was safety equipment available there,” Shivakumar, who holds Bengaluru Development
portfolio, told reporters here.
Others on the top floor were trapped by the time they ran down the stairs, he explained.
The DCM said three inquiries were going on simultaneously – one is the departmental inquiry by the
BBMP, second is police investigation and third by the Electrical Inspectorate to investigate whether the
fire happened due to a short circuit.
According to him, the Quality Control Lab was not the place to store documents but it has been done.
“Whom to blame for it? The accident has already happened. We have to provide the best treatment to
the injured. We will shift this lab elsewhere,” he said.
The incident happened days after the Congress government ordered a judicial probe into all the works in
the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) during the BJP rule from 2019 to 2023.
This apart, the government formed four panels headed by IAS officers.
Shivakumar said the place where the quality control lab was functioning was not proper.
To a question, he said in the past fire incidents to burn files to close investigations had taken place. This
time, however, the files are safe though they were kept in a room next to the lab.
“There were files in the next room but fortunately, none of those files were burnt. We are on alert. We
will let you know the details once the investigation is completed.”
Regarding the safety of files, he said the arrangements have been made. He also said that he had a
meeting with the Chief Commissioner and other officials on Friday night where he had given them the
necessary directions.
The Bengaluru Central Division DCP Srinivas Gowda told reporters that a Group-D employee who was
present there is being interrogated.
“We are interrogating one person who was on the ground floor at the time of incident…As I said, a
Group-D employee who was there is being interrogated. Presently we have detained two people,” he
Gowda said prima facie it appears that the fire happened due to a highly inflammable material benzene,
which is used for testing the strength of asphalt.
According to him, the FSL teams and scientific officers arrived on the spot and collected proof.
The nine injured have sustained burns on their faces and hands, according to chief minister
Siddaramaiah and DCM Shivakumar.

Meanwhile, the Congress in Karnataka drew flak for its tweet on the fire accident, which it deleted later.
Minutes after the incident, the Congress in Karnataka tweeted from its official handle saying that the
fire incident was not an accident but a conspiracy.
Shivakumar, who is also the Congress state unit president, said he did not approve the content of the
“The Congress party might have tweeted, I cannot accept that tweet. I got it withdrawn soon after I
learnt about it. Some boys have done it,” Shivakumar said.
Stating that he was away and not in the town to see what was being tweeted, he said earlier he used to
see whenever there was a tweet.
BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal tweeted that the Congress Twitter handle is just like the Congress
party which runs away after making allegations.
“The unbridled inept people write whatever comes to their mind and when we question their
authenticity, they delete the tweet and run away,” Patil tweeted.
He also said, “Wasn’t there a nobleman who said that action will be taken against those who spread fake
news? Where has he disappeared?”

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