Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Over 30 MR quarters gutted

Imphal, August 02: A major fire broke out in the Type-I family-line quarters of 2nd Manipur Rifles at Kabow Leikai in Imphal East today, in which over 30 residential quarters had been completely gutted and properties worth over a crore rupees had been reduced to ashes.Among the properties destroyed in the inferno were dozens of barrels containing illegally stored petrol and diesel.Properties worth around Rs one crore belonging to the families living in the quarters located in a row and five vehicles parked near the quarters inside the Battalion headquarters of the 2nd MR were reduced to ashes in the blaze that broke out around 7 am today.The fire is believed to have erupted from one of the quarters where fuel was stored.One havildar, Salam Ajit sustained injury in the fire. He has been admitted to JNIMS hospital. He was later referred to Shija Hospital. No other casualty has been reported.Five fire tenders and riot control water cannon from Imphal police station, Varun were pressed into service, and it took the firemen and police personnel around three hours to douse the raging flames, said police.Fire tenders from Thoubal and Mayang Imphal fire stations also rushed to the spot and assisted the fire fighters of Imphal fire service station in extinguishing the fire. They succeeded in extinguishing the fire at about 10 am.The effort of the firemen to put the fire under control was hampered when at least three gas cylinders in the quarters exploded making the job of the fire-fighters still more difficult. Besides, the fire spread quickly and became more intense with the fuel stored in many of the quarters burning.Petrol and diesel were stored in most of the quarters as reported by the residents of neighbourhood.When the raging inferno was at its extreme peak and the firemen were battling to put out the fire, a number of barrels filled with petrol and diesel were rolled out from almost all the quarters to save from the spreading fire.Five vehicles including one Gypsy, a Santro car and three two-wheelers were also completely burnt.The Gypsy (MN1A-5464) belonged to the injured Havildar, Ajit, while the Santro car (MN01-W/4547) belonged to Babukhan Kabui. The two-wheelers were a Bajaj Pulser (MN05-0131) and an NV Scooter.The belongings of most of the quarters including household items, luxury items, food items were also reduced to ashes apart from petrol and diesel hoarded by two havildars Aji and Yaima. Many containers with petrol and diesel were found in the two gutted quarters.Cash amounting to around Rs 60 lakh belonging to the two havildars and another amount of Rs 70 lakh belonging to another MR personnel were also burnt.Reports said, the fire started from the quarter of Ajit, who was doing a brisk business of petrol and diesel. The fire could not be put out despite efforts of the neighbours to do so.There had been reports that the 2nd MR quarters have become a black market hub of petrol and diesel.In the meantime, relief aids were provided by the personnel of 2nd MR to the families of the personnel affected by the blaze. The families were given Rs 1000 each, one litre of edible oil, two blankets, mosquito nets and three kg of dal each.JCOs, NCOs and residents of the surrounding areas of the affected family-line also donated Rs 35,000. The commandant of the 2nd MR and other officials expressed gratefulness for the help being extended towards the suffering families.


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