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Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Fire at Palayam Connemera market

Staff Reporter

15 shops gutted; Sivakumar promises probe into incident

— Photo: S. Mahinsha

In flames:Shops that were destroyed in a fire at the Palayam Connemera market in Thiruvananthapuram city on Wednesday.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 15 shops were gutted in a fire that broke out at the busy Palayam Connemera market in the heart of the capital early on Wednesday.

No one was injured in the incident, Kerala Fire and Rescue Services control room said. Traders in the market alleged that the fire was the handiwork of some anti-social elements. They demanded a probe into all the incidents of fire since 2000.

The fire was noticed at around 4.30 a.m. by merchants who came to the market to open their shops. Fire and Rescue Services personnel, on being alerted by the merchants and locals, immediately reached the spot and carried out fire-fighting operations and prevented the fire from spreading to other shops. The fire was brought under control at around 6.35 a.m. by four fire tenders from Chengalchoola and two from Chaka. Assistant Divisional Officer Reny Lukose and Station Officer S.S. Prins led the fire-fighting operations with support from police personnel.

The shops gutted included vegetable shops, fruit shops, footwear shops, and others. Fire and Rescue Services personnel had ruled out electrical short circuit as the cause of the incident.

The Cantonment police have registered a case. Investigators are looking into whether the fire occurred from a stove that was kept in one of the shops. The stove was used for making tea by those running the shop. Forensic experts and those from the electrical inspectorate visited the spot and had a detailed inspection of shops.

Minister for Industries P.K. Kunhalikutty, Minister for Transport and Devaswoms V.S. Sivakumar, and Mayor K. Chandrika visited the market and spoke to the merchants. Mr. Sivakumar promised a probe into the incident that had caused heavy losses to merchants. A major fire had destroyed the market situated on the side of the arterial road in 2000. Another fire took place in 2003. In December 2007, a textile shop was damaged in a fire that had broken out from a garbage pile located near the waiting shed. Investigations into the previous incidents had not been able to solve the mystery over the fire. tatter

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