Karnataka Director General for Fire and Emergency Services MN Reddi said on Monday that the Bengaluru restaurant, where five employees died in a blaze earlier in the day, had no fire extinguisher and did not follow safety norms, IANS reported. “The premises where the fire accident took place had no exit door, ventilation, exhaust fans or any escape route from behind,” he added.
On Monday evening, the Karnataka Police arrested two people in connection with the fire. Earlier, a case was registered against four people under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code for punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The Forensic Science Laboratory, the Electrical Inspectorate and fire services team had inspected the site of the fire, ANI reported.
Reddi said that according to the preliminary inquiry, the victims died due to asphyxia caused by the lack of ventilation and exit points. “The victims seem to have tried to escape from the dark premises but could not as they failed to break the iron grill windows,” Reddi added.
The officer said the fire department has directed officials of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike – the municipal corporation – and the police to inspect all bars, pubs, restaurants, hotels and eateries across the city to check for fire safety norms. Karnataka Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy confirmed the inspection order.
The fire has now been extinguished. The police identified the dead as Swami, Prasad and Mahesh from Tumakuru, Manjunath from Hassan, and Keerthi from Mandya. Their bodies were sent for autopsy. Karnataka minister KJ George announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the victims.