Various agencies of the Karnataka government on Wednesday swung into action at Carlton Towers on HAL Airport Road here, where nine people died following a fire on Tuesday, to ascertain the cause of the blaze.
The building has been sealed till inspections are completed by the Fire and Emergency Services, the Chief Electrical Inspectorate, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and other agencies. Also, the city police have suo motu booked a criminal case under Sections 304 A (causing death by negligence) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code against the owners of space in the building.
“A case has also been registered against the management and the association of owners. However, no names have been mentioned in the First Information Report since details of ownership and the names of the owners are yet to be ascertained,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Ulsoor Subdivision) G.B. Manjunath said here on Wednesday. Mr. Manjunath will investigate the fire from all angles, including sabotage, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) M.R. Pujar told The Hindu.
According to the officer, the police are verifying the documents of ownership of offices and commercial establishments in the building.
According to the police, the building was built by SI Property Development Private Ltd. in the mid-nineties and, at present, each office unit is independently owned by either individuals or firms. The maintenance and security of the building is being taken care of by an association of the owners.
Fire and Emergency Services Director B.G. Chengappa said there were many obstructions that prevented fire engines from entering the building premises, which came in the way of recue operations. He also said fire-fighting equipment such as smoke detectors and wet raisers in the building were not functioning. Thirty-eight of the 59 people who were admitted to Manipal Hospital on Tuesday were discharged on Wednesday.