The accident took place when delivery boy was checking the safety valve

Three persons were killed in a fire in a hotel here while checking a cooking gas refill on Friday. Three others were admitted to different hospitals with severe burns.

The dead were identified as N. Narayanan (46), his nephew M. Neeleswaran (15) and a hotel employee, K. Muthiah (63).

The accident occurred when the delivery boy tried to check the safety valve of the new cylinder even as the gas stove in the small eatery was burning.

“Gas leak from the new cylinder spread fast in the hotel and suddenly it caught fire,” Sattur Deputy Superintendent of Police C. Chinniah said. Vijayakumar tried to close the nozzle in vain. The accident occurred at around 11.30 a.m.

Besides Vijayakumar, V. Selvaraj (72), a neighbour of the shop, sustained burns. Another employee of the hotel, C. Palanichamy (56), was critically injured, the police said.

The entire hotel was gutted and buildings in the vicinity were damaged.

Recently, two persons were killed in a similar fire accident in a tea stall at Sivakasi.