Massive fires raged across various parts of Bihar, killing five members of a family and gutting hundreds of shops in Patna in two separate incidents.
In Patna’s Gardanibagh area, five members, including two children and an old woman, were burnt to death when their hut caught fire in the early hours on Friday.
Shops commerical establishments gutted
Later, fires swept the bakri bazaar and new market areas for hours, gutting hundreds of shops and commercial establishments.
“Mainly, the bakri bazaar area was affected, where over a 100 shops were guttted. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, but the shops stored inflammable material, such as cotton and wool. Coal was also stored in a place behind the affected area. These factors along with gusty winds stoked the flames and caused a delay in controlling the fire. The fire was spreading very fast,” Sanjay Kumar, Patna district magistrate told The Hindu .
The fire started around 11 a.m. and could only be controlled by 2 p.m. Mr. Kumar said 12 fire engines, including one unit each of the Bihta Air Force station and the airport were pressed into service.
The fire brigade units would be stationed at the site till Saturday, Mr. Kumar said.
Meanwhile, fires gutted several huts across rural Bihar, in Begusarai, Bhojpur, Jamui, Khagaria and Samastipur, disaster control sources said. Crops were also damaged.