Gangtok, April 28: Today, after the closing of shops inside the Kanchenjunga Shopping Complex, Lal Market at around 2.15 pm (approx), fire incident took place as informed by one of the eyewitnesses. As per the officer-in-charge, Gangtok Fire Station who reached the spot at 2.24 pm with fire tender and took 25 minutes to dose the fire and brought down under control. As per their report, the cause of the fire was due to either burning Puja lamp/incense sticks or electric short circuit.

No casualty or injuries have been reported, however, the fire incident had completely gutted the essential commodities along with the wooden racks belonging to Shri M.B. Subba (Shop No. 102), Smt Bindiya Subba(shop No. 103) and Shri Sukrani Subba (Shop No. 90 (utensils)). Similarly, 3 (three) other shops belonging to Smt Passang Lhamu Sherpa(Shop No.101), Smt Dawa Phuti Sherpa(Shop No. 99) and Shri Norbu Sherpa(Shop No. 100), were partially damaged. The victims will be disbursed ex-gratia amount as per the standing SDRF norms.

The spot of fire incident was inspected by Hon’ble Mayor, SDM Head Quarter, Deputy Director, District Disaster Management Authority, East and Astt Commissioner, Gangtok Municipal Corporation. During the inspection, one of the shop owners informed that if the fire incident had taken place before the closing time there would be the unimaginable situation but luckily it took place after the closing of shops. There is a problem of free moving space inside the shopping complex as the shops are too close to each other and especially when the situation arises such as this fire incident; it is very vulnerable to a major disaster. As preparedness in terms of disaster and to avoid such untoward situation in future, the concerned department needs to see it carefully.

Earlier, Hon’ble Minister, UD&HD Shri Arun Upreti also visited the spot and took stock of the situation.

(Report from the Office of DC East).

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