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28 Sep 2020, Edition - 1903, Monday

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Coimbatore

Mishandling of inflammables prime cause of accidents, district fire officer

U Bharath

Following the devastating fire, in a three-storied building in Avinashi Road yesterday, that claimed a life and left five other students hospitalised due to suffocation, people are asking questions about the administration’s fire safety and emergency preparedness.

The 23-year-old victim, Shaktivel, died of asphyxiation while he was at civil services coaching classes in the building.

Speaking to Covai Post, district fire officer SR Chandra said that everyone must adopt certain formalities and precautionary measures, and there are dos and don’ts when handling crackers and other inflammable items. Avoiding high-decibel crackers and rockets is the best way to prevent fire accidents, he said, and advised against lighting candles, incense sticks and lamps, at homes.

Storing gift boxes of fire crackers is a strict “no no” as per the law, he said, adding that yesterday’s accident could have been avoided if safety measures have been adopted, though he pointed out that the accident was triggered by an electric short-circuit. Police and forensic experts are yet to confirm whether the gift boxes of fire crackers stored there caused the fire.

Talking about the recent fire cracker unit blast at Sivakasi, which claimed eight lives, Chandran said that the mishandling of inflammables is the prime cause for the cracker unit blasts.

Noting that the fire and rescue department is in high preparedness during the Diwali season, he said that four more fire tenders are positioned at important junctions of Gandhipuram, Town Hall and Singanallur to meet emergencies.

Also, the fire stations in Coimbatore South, North, Peelamedu, Ganapathy and four other fire stations in Valparai, Pollachi, Mettupalayam and Annur, are in high-preparedness.

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