3 killed, 15 hurt in fire at re­li­gious event in Gu­jarat

■ The in­ci­dent oc­curred at the ‘Rash­tra Katha Shibir’ (camp) in Pranali vil­lage of the district ■ The blaze erupted in shibir’s women sec­tion and spread rapidly, killing three per­sons, District Col­lec­tor said

The Hitavada - - NATION -

THREE teenage girls were killed and 15 oth­ers in­jured af­ter a fire broke out dur­ing a re­li­gious event near Ra­jkot in Gu­jarat, an of­fi­cial said on Satur­day.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened at the ‘Rash­tra Katha Shibir’ (camp) in Pranali vil­lage of the district on Fri­day night. “The blaze erupted in shibir’s women sec­tion and spread rapidly, killing three per­sons,” District Col­lec­tor Vikrant Pandey said. A team of Na­tional Dis­as­ter Re­sponse Force and Fire Brigade res­cued sev­eral peo­ple from the site, Pandey said. Ra­jkot (Ru­ral) Su­per­in­ten­dent of Po­lice An­trip Sood said the de­ceased were teenage girls. Nearly 15 peo­ple suf­fered burn in­juries and were rushed to a nearby hos­pi­tal, Sood said. A short-cir­cuit may have led to the fire, but an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was on to as­cer­tain the cause, Pandey said.

The camp was be­ing or­gan­ised by spir­i­tual leader Swami Dharma­band­huji.

Dharma­band­huji, who has been con­duct­ing the shibir for the past 20 years, said he was pained by the tragedy, which hap­pened on the last day of the 10-day event.

The event draws prom­i­nent per­son­al­i­ties. This year, Union Home Min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh and Gu­jarat Chief Min­is­ter Vi­jay Ru­pani at­tended the camp.

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