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Satpura Bhawan Blaze: Fire Was Set Intentionally, Claims Congress Leader Kamal Nath

According to senior Congress leader Kamal Nath, around 12,000 files were destroyed in the blaze. Officials confirmed that no casualties were reported in the blaze as people were safely evacuated before the fire spread

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After the massive fire at Bhopal’s 6-storey government office building Satpura Bhawan was doused fully, Congress leader Kamal Nath said on Tuesday that the fire was set intentionally. He also added that around 12,000 files were destroyed in the blaze.

“The fire was set intentionally and it is estimated that 12,000 files were destroyed in the blaze. This is a case of corruption and should be probed by an independent agency”,tweeted Kamal Nath.

The bulding is known to house offices of various departments of the Madhya Pradesh government.

No casualties have been reported in the blaze as people were safely evacuated before the fire spread, the official said.

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“The fire has been brought under control on all the affected floors. Smoke is still coming out from the sixth floor and firefighters will take nearly two hours to completely bring it under control,” Additional Chief Secretary Home Dr Rajesh Rajora told PTI soon after inspecting the building after coming from Delhi in the morning.

A committee formed to probe the fire will begin its work from 1 pm on Tuesday.

“The fire has been totally brought under control. Our priority was to ensure that no loss to human lives takes place and the blaze should not spread to nearby areas and we are totally successful in it,” Bhopal Collector Asheesh Singh said.

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He also informed that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was monitoring the situation and the fire was doused with the help of the Centre and an Army team along with many other agencies.

The Indian Air Force was called in to help after a massive fire broke out at Bhopal's Satpura Bhawan, a 6-storey building that houses offices of various departments of the Madhya Pradesh government on Monday, an official said.

What caused the fire is yet to be known.

However, after preliminary investigation, officials are pointing towards a blast in the Air Conditioner (AC) which probably have resulted in the fire.

According to an official, no casualties have been reported as people were safely evacuated before the fire spread. 

"The fire is under control and is now confined to the building. It is not completely doused and efforts are on to completely douse it,” the official said late Monday night.

The fire started on the third floor around 4 pm and spread up to the sixth floor.

Madhya Pradesh Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang told PTI that the fire has been brought under control and efforts are on to completely douse it.

CM Dials PM, Seeks Air Force Intervention

The building houses offices of various departments of the Madhya Pradesh government, prompting authorities to call in fire tenders from Army, AAI and facilities of oil companies, officials and the chief minister's office said.
    
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah about the fire and sought assistance for dousing it, an official said.

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The prime minister has assured Chouhan of all possible assistance from the Centre for controlling the blaze, the official said. 

An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter was said to be reaching the site around 1.20 AM and pressed into action. According to an official, Indian Air Force plane AN-52 and MI-15 chopper will join the dousing operation in the night and will pour water using buckets from above, according to the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).

On directions of Chouhan, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra and the medical education minister reached the spot to take stock of the situation, the official said.

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District Collector Ashish Singh said all resources have been mobilised and around 22 fire tenders and 30-40 tankers are involved in the dousing operation as of now.

He said the fire spread as there are many files stored in the building and firemen can't enter due to heavy smoke. The density of the fire is very high. No casualty has been reported, Singh added.

"As per prima facie information and people present at the spot informed that the blaze erupted on the third floor of the building due to a short circuit in an air conditioner and raged to other floors due to wind," said Bhopal Police Commissioner Harinarayanchari Mishra.

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Bhopal Municipal Corporation's Fire Officer Ramesh Neel said the blaze erupted at around 4 pm. "Furniture and documents are prima facie destroyed in the fire," he said.

Meanwhile, the state government has formed a committee of senior bureaucrats to probe the possible reasons behind the fire. The panel includes the Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Principal Secretary (Urban Administration), Principal Secretary (PWD) and Additional Director General (Fire), the CMO said.

Arera Hills police station incharge RK Singh said the blaze engulfed furniture and documents in the departments of tribal welfare and health located inside the building.

What is the current scenario?

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It has been reported that the fire was doused this morning. The blaze, which has affected the third, fourth, fifth and the top sixth floor of the building and the terrace was seen from various areas of the city.

The affected building is located on a hill in front of the state government secretariat, Vallabh Bhawan.

Officials said the fire has destroyed furniture and documents of several departments.

Fire tenders and firefighters from the Army, Indian Oil Corporation, BPCL, Airports Authority of India, BHEL, and from Mandideep and Raisen were called in, the Chief Minister's Office said.

(With PTI Inputs)

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