Fire at Gaming Zone in Gujarat’s Rajkot leaves 28, including nine children, dead

At 28 people die after fire breaks out at Gujarat gaming zone
Massive fire in Gujarat’s gaming zone leaves 28 dead. Photo Courtesy: Video grab from viral video

The death toll in a massive fire at a gaming zone in the West Indian city of Gujarat’s Rajkot rose to 28 on Sunday.

Nine children were among those killed in the blaze.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Sunday visited the incident site and a hospital where the injured are being treated.

Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vinayak Patel said that DNA samples have been collected to identify the bodies of the victims.

“The bodies are charred beyond recognition, and we have completed the process of collecting the DNA samples of the bodies and the relatives who have claimed them so that the identity of the deceased can be established,” he said, adding that the three people injured in the incident are now in a stable condition.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been tasked to probe the fire and has been asked to submit a report within 72 hours, even as rescue operations continue at the site today.

Meanwhile, one person is missing, and the authorities are trying to find him.

Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi held a meeting with the five-member SIT and the local administration in the early hours of Sunday.

The SIT is probing the departments responsible for the construction of the gaming zone.

The owner and manager of the TRP game zone, where the fire broke out on Saturday evening, have been detained.

Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya has said that 30 ICU beds have been prepared in AIIMS Rajkot to provide treatment to those injured in the fire. “Along with this, instructions have also been given to AIIMS to provide full help,” he said.

According to fire officials, the reason behind the massive blaze has not been ascertained yet.

In the wake of the fire, Gujarat Police has instructed senior police officers to inspect all gaming zones in the state and shut down the ones running without fire safety permissions.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “extremely distressed” by the tragedy.

“Extremely distressed by the fire mishap in Rajkot. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their loved ones. Prayers for the injured. The local administration is working to provide all possible assistance to those affected,” he said in a post on X.

President Droupadi Murmu, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and several other politicians expressed grief over the incident.

On Saturday, Bhupendra Patel announced that the state government will provide INR 4 lakh ex-gratia to the families of the deceased and INR 50,000 to the injured.