Rajkot game zone fire: SIT meets; DNA samples collected for victim identification

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Representational Image. (Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay)

Rajkot: Early Sunday morning, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) convened with local authorities in Rajkot, Gujarat, following a devastating fire at a game zone that resulted in 27 deaths and three injuries. The fire occurred on Saturday evening, affecting many families enjoying summer outings.

The victims’ bodies were charred beyond recognition, prompting officials to collect DNA samples from the deceased and their relatives for identification.

Chief minister Bhupendra Patel visited the incident site on Nana-Mava Road and later checked on the injured at the hospital. The game zone’s owner and manager have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Among the 27 victims, four were children under the age of 12. The state government has formed a five-member SIT to investigate the fire and provide a report within 72 hours. The team arrived in Rajkot late Saturday night and began coordinating with local officials. Minister of state for Home Harsh Sanghavi also attended the meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief and demanded strict action against those responsible. Additional director general of police Subhash Trivedi, leading the SIT, emphasised a thorough and honest investigation to ensure justice for the victims and prevent future tragedies.

ACP Vinayak Patel confirmed that 27 bodies were recovered and transported to the city civil hospital. The three injured individuals are in stable condition. The process of collecting DNA samples for identification has been completed, and the death toll is not expected to rise.

The SIT includes ADGP Trivedi, commissioner BN Pani, director of the Forensic Science Laboratory HP Sanghvi, chief fire officer JN Khadia, and superintending engineer MB Desai. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

National leaders, including President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, and Prime Minister Modi, have expressed their condolences. The Prime Minister also spoke with the chief minister regarding the rescue and relief efforts.

The chief minister has announced compensation of Rs 4 lakh for the families of each deceased victim and Rs 50,000 for each injured individual. Following the tragedy, the Rajkot police commissioner ordered an investigation into the fire’s cause and mandated the closure of all game zones in the city.

The state director general of police instructed local police and fire departments to inspect all game zones in Gujarat and shut down those lacking fire safety permits.

(with PTI inputs)

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