KARNATAKA

Police book Carlton Towers owners

BARRICADED: Police having a tough time in crowd control at Carlton Towers on Wednesday.

BARRICADED: Police having a tough time in crowd control at Carlton Towers on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Bangalore Bureau

Bangalore: Even as the Carlton Towers, where nine persons perished on Tuesday, was sealed to facilitate inspection by various government agencies probing the cause of the fire, the City Police have suo motu booked a criminal case against the owners of the premises.

“A criminal case has been registered against the management and association of office premises owners. However, no names have been mentioned in the FIR as the details of ownership and names of owners are yet to be ascertained,” said Assistant Commissioner of Police G.B. Manjunath. Cases have been booked 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. The police said they are questioning two persons whom they refused to name.

Officials from the State Electrical Inspectorate, Forensic Science Laboratory, Fire and Emergency Services and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) inspected the building on Wednesday. The police are verifying the documents pertaining to the ownership of offices and commercial establishments of the building. Police Commissioner Shankar M. Bidri told The Hindu that the police were awaiting a report from all these agencies. “If we find any lapses, we will [apprise] the Government,” he added.

Autopsy

Meanwhile, a source in the Forensic Department of Victoria Hospital, where four of the nine bodies have been sent for autopsy, said the cause of death in all the four cases was “shock due to haemorrhage” and skeletal injuries.

H. Sudarshan Ballal, Medical Director, Manipal Hospital, said the two victims who breathed their last at the hospital had died of asphyxiation. “They had minor physical injuries and Grade I burns. But the post-mortem reports will reveal the exact cause,” he said.

Many obstructions

Fire and Emergency Services director B.G. Chengappa said there were many obstructions that prevented fire engines entering the building premises, which came in the way of recue operations. Fire-fighting equipment such as smoke detectors and wet raisers in the building were not functioning.

BBMP Chief Engineer (East Zone) Jayachandra said the building, which had been approved by the now-defunct HAL Sanitary Board, received its No-Objection Certificate (NOC) in 1994 and Occupancy Certificate in 1999.

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