Coimbatore City Police on Friday arrested two persons in connection with the devastating fire that broke out in a office complex Vigneshwar Cresta at Lakshmi Mill Junction on Thursday that claimed lives of four women and left nine injured.
City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan on Friday told reporters that Mohanakrishnan, owner of the Sharekhan franchisee and complex manager Baskar have been arrested under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others). Special teams have been formed to nab the building owner Adithya, who is absconding, Mr. Viswanathan added.
Absence of emergency exit, fire extinguishers, provision for water hydrants, narrow stair case were believed to be the reasons for the loss of lives and injuries to so many. Police are also probing as to whether bio-metric access and exit systems were reasons for the staff not being able to escape instantly because of the failure of power circuits as a result of fire.
When asked, Mr. Viswanathan said that only post-mortem report could throw light on whether the deaths were due to smoke or due to burn injuries.
City Police would write to the District Collectorate, Local Planning Authority and Corporation seeking them to identify buildings without emergency exits, violations and deviations endangering the safety of the people and to initiate correctional measures to prevent such loss of lives in future.
Mr. Viswanathan appreciated the two drivers and conductors of a private and Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation city bus service namely Nagamanickam (30) and Ravikumar (49) both conductors and Murugan (45) and Rajendran (52) Drivers for their selfless service. The crew had parked the bus in such a manner providing a chute for the trapped victims to jump from the first floor to the roof of the bus and slide down to safety.
Mr. Viswanathan said that the crew had saved lives as their priority and they never waited for any permission or clearance from the bus owner in the case of private bus and from the officials in the case of TNSTC bus. Their actions were selfless and were aware of the fact that the bus could suffer some damage and also of the risk of suffering injuries in the process of rescue. "Saving lives had remained their topmost priority".