Five people were killed and six injured in a fire that broke out in two hotels in Lucknow’s Naka area on Tuesday morning, the Hindustan Times reported, quoting Uttar Pradesh government officials. Nearly 40 guests were evacuated safely, and the blaze was brought under control after two hours.
Lucknow Senior Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar said the fire started in the basement of SSJ International and spread to the adjoining Viraat International. Five people, including a toddler, were declared brought dead by the civil hospital. They reportedly suffocated to death after being trapped inside the hotels.
Kumar said the fire, which was noticed around 5 am, was most likely caused by a short circuit. He added that both hotels had firefighting equipment but the staff had not been trained to use them.
Another senior police officer, Sujit Pandey, said the cause of the blaze is yet to be ascertained. The hotel owners as well as the employees reportedly fled the spot after the incident. “If we find any lapse on the hotel’s part during our investigation, we will take strict action against the people concerned,” said Pandey, according to NDTV.
Chief Minister Adityanath announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to families of the deceased, and Rs 50,000 each to those who are seriously wounded, ANI reported. Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi visited the civil hospital where the injured have been admitted.