13 priests, caretaker held for high-rise fire

13 priests, caretaker held for high-rise fire

Police said they have detained Mahesh Kumar Tayal and were searching for his elder brother Vijay Kumar Tayal, who owns the Gold Towers, a commercial complex on the busy Residency Road in Bangalore's central business district.

Mahesh was in-charge of the building, Deputy Police Commissioner G. Ramesh told reporters. A case of violating fire safety norms has been registered against Vijay, he said.
The priests were detained as police believe a 'homa' (a fire ritual) conducted on the fifth floor caused the blaze.

The fifth floor was a temporary structure where a popular nightclub was being run and it had a wooden flooring for dancing.

According to D.C. Chengappa, director of state fire services, the building owners had not taken clearance from his department for occupying the premises. The pub owners too had not obtained fire safety clearance, he said. Fourteen fire tenders were deployed to douse the blaze as fire and police department did not want to take any chance in the wake of the Feb 23 fire in Carlton Towers, a high-rise in the city, in which nine people were killed.

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