At least seven people killed in building fire in India

Seven people were charred to death and five others were injured in a fire that broke out at a residential building in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning.

Officials said the fire started around 4 a.m. in the basement of the Swarn Bagh settlement building in the city of Indore in Madhya Pradesh, 200 km from the state capital, Bhopal, and quickly engulfed the whole structure.

Five firefighters were put on duty and it took them almost four hours to put out the flames.

“At the time, everyone in the building was sleeping soundly. Seven burned bodies were recovered by firefighters from the building. Nine people were also rescued, five of whom were hospitalized,” a senior fire officer told local media.

Police said they arrested building owner Ansar Patel in connection with the fire. “He was convicted of causing death by negligence for failing to install any fire safety system in the building,” a police officer said.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in a tweet to offer his condolences.

“I pray to God to make way for the departed souls at his feet and give strength to family members to bear this deep pain and give speedy recovery to the injured,” the chief minister tweeted.

An investigation has been ordered into the fire, the firefighter said. “Preliminary probe indicates an electrical short in the basement.”

Building fires are common in India and are often attributed to poor maintenance and the lack of basic fire safety systems. A number of people die each year in these fires.

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