Over 800 stalls were gutted in a fire that broke out from a stall at the famous All India Industrial Exhibition at the Nampally “Numaish” grounds on Wednesday night. While two persons were hospitalized due to smoke inhalation the loss was pegged at Rs 40 crore.
The premises, popularly known as 'Numaish', was packed with around 40,000 people when the incident took place. While there was massive damage of property, no casualties were reported, Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar said.
According to the police, the fire broke out in the stall of Andhra Pradesh Mahesh Cooperative Bank Limited at around 8.45 pm, apparently due to a short circuit and spread to several other stalls adjacent to it. There were nearly 3000 big and small stalls in the exhibition. The stalls, made out of bamboo sheets and cloth, caught fire immediately. The flames emanating from the burning shops resulted in billowing smoke that engulphed the huge exhibition grounds. The fire was such that even the electrical transformers caught fire.
Several children were reported missing, however, with 19 fire tenders reaching the spot immediately, there was no loss of life. Only two persons, Rajkumar and Dilawar Hussain were injured. All the women boarders of a college close to the grounds were shifted elsewhere. The TSRTC and Metro undertook extra services to clear the crowd.
The authorities responded immediately and extinguished the fire. Luckily, there are no reports of any casualties, Exhibition Society chairman Eatala Rajender told the media. The minister later assured the agitating shopkeepers that their fee will be refunded and the exhibition will be extended till the end of February. The proceedings of the sale of tickets will be distributed among the shopkeepers who lost everything in the fire, he said.