Chennai: Addiction towards alcohol and selfies turned out to be the prime factor that caused severe injuries and casualties in the fire mishap occurred at Kodungaiyur in the city on Saturday night.
News Today visited Meenambal Street, where the bakery was located, today. Though normalcy has resumed, there are people who are yet come out of shock and many mourned for the victims.
Apart from a handful of employees from the bakery and its nearby shops in the complex, a lot who were capturing the fire accident as photos and selfies, and a couple of tipplers who were quarreling near the bakery also became the victims.
“I was about to leave after packing my goods, when fire caught in the bakery at first. Within minutes a lot of people from the neighbourhood started to converge in front of the shop and started to take selfies and photos of the fire. Soon after they came, a cylinder blast occurred only after which the accident was huge,” said Mariappan, a vegetable and fruit vendor who has his shop opposite to the bakery.
He said that, if they had not converged there for taking photos, the number of victims would have been much lesser than now. When asked how many people were there taking selfies, Mariyappan said, “The number was quite huge at first. But later police personnel came there to disperse them. If the police had not reacted the right time, there would have been more casualities.”
On a similar note, Vijay, a medical shop owner from the adjacent building of the bakery said, “Not only those who were taking selfies, but also there were three men who were having a verbal altercation in front of the shop. They were in inebriated condition and they too were also affected by fire’. According to him, the three men were drunk duirng the accident and so they were not in consciuoness. ‘They were quarreling for no reason and suddenly there was a blast in the bakery,” Vijay added.
The people of the neighbourhood said that the bakery is present in a congested corner of the building and so there was not proper space for evaporation of any sort of flammable gases like LPG. The police and the fire personnel were said to be on time and so a huge accident was avoided. As many as 48 victims of the accident were recovered and hospitalised.