Two arrested for Chennai supermarket fire tragedy (Lead)

September 3rd, 2008 - 12:50 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 2 (IANS) Two employees of a supermarket here were arrested late Tuesday for allegedly causing the death of two people due to negligence in a fire mishap Monday, the police said.I. Selvam and P.J. Sebastian, manager and floor supervisor respectively of Saravana Stores, a major retail outlet in the southern suburbs here, were arrested under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (causing death due to negligence), the police added.

The bodies of the two young employees were recovered Tuesday. S. Ramajayam Nadar, 24, and V. Kottaisamy, 27, were working inside the building and sweeping the floor when the fire broke out. They could not escape, the police said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi earlier in the day blamed the store proprietors for having violated building norms and bemoaned the difficulty of fire services personnel to put out the fire that destroyed three floors and resulted in the death of the two employees.

The police also asked high-rise building owners to obtain safety certificates from the fire services department.

Other traders on the Ranganathan Street held a protest as they were not allowed to do business by the police.

As a safety precaution, the police closed traffic on the street as the building was deemed unsafe.

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