19 injured in Kumbh Mela fire

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 16:30 hrs

Allahabad, Jan 25 (IANS) Nineteen people were injured, six of them including three women with serious burns, as fire swept through tents at the Kumbh Mela here Friday, officials said.

The fire broke out in the Ram Govind Das camp area in sector 11 of the Mela premises, while the devotees occupying them had gone to hear a 'katha' (sermon) nearby. In all, 19 'kalpwaasis' (pilgrims) were injured in the incident, a government spokesman said.

The state government ordered a probe into the fire and announced a Rs.50,000 financial aid for each of the six persons seriously injured.

Chief fire officer Animesh Singh told IANS earlier that there were no casualties. Firemen believe the fire could have been caused by incense sticks left behind in the tent by devotees. It then found way to a gas cylinder which exploded.

Allahabad Divisional Commissioner Devesh Chaturvedi said that the fire was brought under control in 20 minutes and a major mishap was averted.

The Kumbh Mela began Jan 14 and would continue till March 10. The second holy bathing day falls Sunday.

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