Fire in Chennai supermarket, two employees ‘missing’ (Second Lead)

September 2nd, 2008 - 12:36 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 1 (IANS) A fire in Saravana Stores, a major supermarket in Chennai’s main shopping district T. Nagar, raged for over five hours Monday. Two employees of the supermarket were reported “missing”, official sources said in the evening.The showroom’s management estimated the losses to cross Rs.15 million.

“Seven fire tenders fought for over five hours to douse the flames,” police commissioner R. Sekar told IANS.

“Two employees - S. Ramajayam Nadar (24) and V. Kottaisamy (27) were not present during the roll call after the fire tragedy. They had been inside in the morning when the fire began,” a fire services official said on condition of anonymity. He informed that the blaze had turned steel utensils into ingots.

Fire services personnel rescued over 20 employees trapped in the building while 100 workers managed to escape on their own, the official added.

Saravana Stores management was not available for comment.

Three floors of the supermarket were ablaze in the fire that started at 5.30 a.m., eyewitnesses said.

A spokesperson of the store claimed that an electric short circuit caused the fire that was noticed almost an hour after it broke. Goods from other floors in the seven-storeyed building were removed.

“The fire began in the furniture department and spread to at least three other floors with similar goods,” a spokesperson of the company added.

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