Attendants, drivers save 100 cars, emerge heroes

The remains of the cars after the massive fire at the parking lot of Aero India 2019 at Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru on Saturday. DH Photo

Fighting the major fire mishap in the history of Aero India, Asia’s largest biennial aero show in which over 300 cars were completely gutted on Saturday, drivers and parking attendants emerged heroes by saving 100 cars from the raging inferno completely.

The drivers of various cars, parking attendants and housekeeping staffers put up at the place immediately rushed to the spot and began moving vehicles to a safer area. 

Even as the thick smoke and fume engulfed the area, these men braved the severe conditions and broke open the glass windshields to release the hand brakes and move vehicles to the safer area.

At the same time, some volunteers helped the fire tending vehicles to navigate through the parking lot by moving the vehicles and lent a helping hand in rolling out water hoses from those vehicles. 

Lokesh S, one of the attendants at the spot, told DH, “We helped move close to about 100 cars to the safer area. Though we had damaged the cars to break open doors and release hand brake, we are happy that at least we safeguarded them from complete damage. We were initially a bunch of 10, but soon we were joined by a team of 40 to 50 people”.

A couple of volunteers who tried to break the windshields of the cars bled profusely in their hands. Nevertheless, they managed to get vehicles to a safer position and saved them from the inferno. 

The owners of the cars, after learning about the incident, rushed to the spot. Some of them were inconsolable. They had left their belongings inside the cars due to security. Some others had purchased cars a few months ago.

According to initial reports, several swanky SUVs belonging to the families of the IAF officials, defence personnel and VVIPs have been gutted.

As the fire mishap area was an open field, the fire brigade personnel too found it difficult to douse the fire due to the high wind speed.

The parking area had a lot of dry grass vegetation and littered with fallen leaves from the trees. “Hundreds of cars were parked beneath the trees which had shed leaves and cars were parked on the bed of these leaves. Adding to woes, the wind was also blowing at a high speed making it unable for the fire brigade personnel to contain the fire,” Anand Kumar, a volunteer at the parking lot told DH

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Attendants, drivers save 100 cars, emerge heroes

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