At least 11 persons were charred to death after a massive fire broke out in a timber depot-cum-scrap godown at Bhoiguda in cin the wee hours of Wednesday.
Police said that the fire broke out around 4 a.m. and the victims, who work as daily wagers, hailed from Bihar.
At least 15 workers had been sleeping at the site at the time of accident. While two persons escaped to safety, 13 were stuck inside. Rescue officials have retrieved 11 bodies and shifted them to Gandhi Hospital morgue for autopsy.
“They were sleeping in two rooms on the floor of the godown when the fire broke out. We suspect they were trapped and inhaled smoke, before they were burnt to death,” a senior police officer told The Hindu.
Around nine fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire. Officials suspect short-circuit could be the reason for the fire accident. However, the exact reason is yet to be ascertained.
The bodies were burnt beyond recognition. Experts would conduct DNA test of the victims before their bodies are handed over to the family members for last rites after autopsy.
“While 11 persons were burnt alive, one person was rescued,” the officer said initially.
After dousing the flames, the firefighters have extensively searched the premises to trace workers feared trapped in the fire.
On hearing about the incident, Hyderabad Collector Sharman and Commissioner of Police C.V. Anand rushed to the accident spot. Later, Mr. Sharman went to Gandhi Hospital.
Additional security forces have been deployed at the Gandhi Hospital in view of the bodies being shifted to the mortuary.
Animal Husbandry Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav too visited the site and interacted with the locals. Talking to reporters, Mr. Yadav said an enquiry has been ordered into the incident. He promised to provide assistance to the victims of the families from the State Government.
CM offers condolences
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao condoled the death of 11 migrant workers in a fire accident.
He announced ₹5 lakh ex-gratia to the family of each victim and directed the Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to ensure that the mortal remains of the victims are sent to Bihar after post mortem.