The industry was making do with the temporary line drawn during the godown construction

S.R. Seatings Systems, the furniture manufacturing unit where six employees were asphyxiated to death after fire broke out here early on Monday, did not have a legally sanctioned power connection, Anupam Agarwal, Superintendent of Police, Ramanagaram district.

The unit, near Kadubugure Cross on Magadi Road, which manufactures seats and sofas for homes, offices and commercial establishments, was making do with the temporary connection drawn during the construction of the godown, which was clearly in violation of the law, officials said.

However, the cause of the fire was not yet ascertained as the officials of the Department of Electrical Inspectorate are yet to carry out the investigation.

Fire officials said that an electric stove was found inside the unit, leading them to believe that the workers were cooking in the premises ever since they moved in about four months ago. An electricity switchboard on the premises was found burnt.

Labour Department officials, who inspected the site, told The Hindu that the unit had only seven employees, including the contractor who had brought five others from Uttar Pradesh for work.

The department would wait for the police investigation report to proceed with matters of compensation.

“At present, we don’t have any details on working conditions,” the official said.

Other issues such as illegal electrical connections and lack of permits will also be looked into.

The unit is being run by one Amit Rathore, a native of New Delhi residing in R.T. Nagar here, while the building owner is Ramakrishna who lives at Sunkadakatte.

Officials investigating the fire suspected that the carbon monoxide killed the six victims.

Prakash, a local resident, said that the unit had no security guard nor any fire-fighting equipment.

“There were clearly no safety measures for the unit which only had one entry and exit point,” Mr. Prakash said.

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