Six workers suffocated to death after a fire broke out in a bakery shop whose exit was locked from outside in Kondhwa area of Pune during the wee hours of Friday.
The bakery is located on the ground floor of a multi-storey building in a busy area of Pune city.
According to an official, the blaze, believed to be caused by an electrical short-circuiting, was noticed around 4.45 am inside the ‘Bakes N Cakes’ bakery in Kondva area.
The workers were caught unaware in their sleep as the flames and smoke engulfed the mezzanine floor where they were sleeping.
“We received a call at around 4.45 am today and immediately fire tenders were rushed to the spot. As we reached the spot, we saw smoke emanating from the shutter of the shop, which was locked from outside,” a fire brigade official said.
Rescue officials said the owner had locked the bakery shutter from outside, trapping and killing the workers inside besides seriously hampering the rescue and relief work.
“As soon as the shutter was opened, we saw a huge fire inside and got information that there are bakery workers who were trapped at a loft inside the shop,” the fire officer added.
All six workers, natives of Bijnaur district in Uttar Pradesh, were found in an unconscious state and rushed to Sassoon General hospital, where they were declared dead on arrival.
They were identified as Irshad Khan (26), Juned Ansari (25), Shanu Ansari (20), Zakir Ansari (24), Faeem Ansari (21) and Zishan Ansari (21) .
Following the incident, a Pune civic official said they would probe the conflagration and conduct a survey of all bakeries in the city to check their fire-preparedness and related issues.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered at Kondhwa police station and the bakery’s three owners have been detained by the police. The civic body has also ordered inquiry into the incident to find out the exact cause of the fire.
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