3 firemen killed as three-storey building collapses in Gole Pulley fire incident

Lt Gov expresses grief over loss of lives


JAMMU, Feb 12: Three firemen were killed and six persons injured when a three-storey building collapsed in Jammu city on Wednesday when fire department personnel were trying to put out a blaze, officials said.
Director General of Fire and Emergency Services, V K Singh said the building in Golepulli area of TallabTillo, housing a saw mill on the ground floor, collapsed during the fire fighting operation.
"We lost three personnel in the incident, while six persons four civilians and two firemen were rescued in an injured condition and were evacuated to a hospital," Singh who supervised the rescue operation said.
Soon after the incident, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and police rushed to the scene and were later joined by a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to rescue the trapped persons.
After hectic efforts, the bodies of the three trapped firefighters identified as Vimal Kumar Raina, Rattan Chand and Mohammad Aslam were retrieved from under the debris, Singh said.
He said the fire department rushed firefighters after receiving a distress call at 4.48 am and were making efforts to put out the blaze when suddenly the building collapsed at 5.30 am.
"We have rescued four trapped civilians in the morning while two of our personnel suffered injuries. All the rescued persons were evacuated and taken to a hospital," Singh said, adding that while one of the firemen is being treated for serious burn injuries, the other is undergoing treatment for head injuries.
"There was a huge stock of timber in the saw mill and a gas cylinder also exploded during the fire as a result of which the building collapsed due to intense heat," the DG said. He said the NDRF team was mobilized from Pathankot to assist in the rescue operation.
Lauding the role of the fire and emergency department in restricting the blaze in the congested area, Divisional Commi-ssioner Sanjeev Verma said despite suffering casualties, the firefighters did a tremendous job in controlling the fire and rescuing trapped civilians.
It is a tragic incident and we are looking into the cause of the fire. It is a matter of investigation whether the building was unsafe," he told reporters.
An official of the NDRF said they got the call at around 6 am and joined the rescue effort around 8.30 am.
"The rescue operation took time as we have to make an approach through the debris to reach the trapped persons," he said, adding that no one else is believed to be trapped under the rubble. Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu expressed grief over the loss of lives of Fire Fighters during a rescue operation in TalabTillo area of Jammu today.
In his condolence message, the Lt Governor has prayed for peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families in their hour of grief. He has directed the administration to provide best possible medical treatment to the injured.
The Lt Governor lauded the valor of the Fire-fighters and observed that the fire fighters have always remained in the forefront at the time of fire outbreak or any other such emergent situation. Meanwhile, V K Singh, Director General of Police, Prisons, Fire and Emergency Services called on the Lt Governor and briefed him about the incident. He also briefed the Lt Governor about the health condition of the injured fire-fighters and the medical treatment being provided to them for their early recovery.
The Lt Governor stressed high importance on generating awareness regarding adherence to fire safety norms in all public buildings to avoid any such untoward incident in the future. Directorate of Fire & Emergency Services today informed that three firemen lost their lives while dousing a massive fire at Saw Mill near Gole Pulley, TalabTiloo here.
In a statement issued, after receiving information regarding the fire incident fire tenders were pressed into service from Fire Stations Canal, Roop Nagar, City and Gandhi Nagar Headquarters. However during the fire fighting operations, the said building collapsed in which five fire service personnel were trapped under the collapsed structure. Two of them were rescued immediately besides 4 civilians were also shifted to GMC Jammu.
Immediately, a rescue operation was carried out with the help of SDRF and local police to trace the trapped personnel. After great efforts, the trapped firefighters were evacuated in an unconscious condition and shifted to GMC Bakshi Nagar Jammu where they were declared brought dead by hospital authorities. DG Fire & Emergency Services, VK Singh has conveyed his deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families of Rattan Chand, Mohammad Aslam and Vimal Raina who died during the fire-fighting operations. He highlighted that the supreme sacrifice by the firefighters in the discharge of their duty is in line with the highest traditions of J&K Fire and Emergency Services. The DG Fire & Emergency Services also visited GMC Jammu to enquire about the health of injured personnel.

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