3 killed, 15 hurt in fire at religious event in Gujarat

3 killed, 15 hurt in fire at religious event in Gujarat

Three teenage girls were killed and 15 others injured after a fire broke out during a religious event near Rajkot in Gujarat.

The incident happened at the 'Rashtra Katha Shibir' (camp) in Pranali village of the district last night.

"The blaze erupted in shibir's women section and spread rapidly, killing three persons," District Collector Vikrant Pandey said.

A team of National Disaster Response Force and Fire Brigade rescued several people from the site, Pandey said.

Rajkot (Rural) Superintendent of Police Antrip Sood said the deceased were teenage girls.

Nearly 15 people suffered burn injuries and were rushed to a nearby hospital, Sood said.

A short-circuit may have led to the fire, but an investigation was on to ascertain the cause, Pandey said.

The camp was being organised by spiritual leader Swami Dharmabandhuji.

Dharmabandhuji, who has been conducting the shibir for the past 20 years, said he was pained by the tragedy, which happened on the last day of the 10-day event.

The event draws prominent personalities. This year, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani attended the camp.  

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