The bodies of 27 people were “burnt beyond recognition” after a massive fire at an Indian theme park, relatives say

Rajkot, India (AFP) Giriraj Singh He waited for hours on Sunday to retrieve his nephew’s body but was told to return home because the remains were “burnt beyond recognition.”

“The bodies were not identified and the authorities asked me to wait for DNA tests,” Singh, a retired army officer, told the Associated Press.

His 24-year-old nephew was with three friends when a massive fire broke out on Saturday at an amusement park in the western city of Rajkot. IndiaAs a result, 27 people were killed, including children, during the busy weekend that coincided with the summer school holidays in the state.

Local police officer Raju Bhargav said that while owner Yuvraj Singh Solanki had bought some fire extinguishers and was in the process of installing a water fire extinguishing system, he was running the two-storey place without permission from the fire department. He said that Solanki and the park director were arrested and charged with “negligence resulting in death.”

The ground floor of the park houses the reception area while the first floor contains bowling, go-kart and trampoline attractions.

The Indian Express newspaper reported that the terrified visitors fled in search of safety, but the narrow gates in the park prevented a quick escape.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but there was some construction work going on and it may have been a spark from a welding machine that started the fire, Bhargav said. He added that the rescue operation has ended and teams are now removing the rubble.

Their relatives said doctors advised them on Sunday not to wait and go home because DNA tests to identify the remains could take up to 48 hours.

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Bhupendra Patel, the state’s highest elected official, visited the fire site and the hospital where some of the injured were undergoing treatment. Three were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation and burns, but they were not in a life-threatening condition, police officer Bhargav said.

prime minister Narendra Modi He posted on X that he was “deeply saddened by the fire… My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones.” Praying for the wounded.”

Fires are common in India, where construction workers and residents often violate building codes and safety rules. Activists say construction companies often ignore safety measures to save money, and accuse civil authorities of negligence and indifference.

In 2019, a fire caused by an electrical short swept through a building in the Indian capital, killing 43 people. In 2022, a fire in a four-storey commercial building in New Delhi killed at least 27 people.

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