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3 Children among 5 dead in massive fire at UP puja pandal, over 60 injured

Varanasi: At least five people, including three children, were killed and 66 others injured in a massive fire at a Durga Puja Pandal in Uttar Pradesh’s Bhadohi last night, officials have said.

The fire broke out at around 9 pm when aarti was being performed, police said, adding that around 150 people were inside the pandal at the time of the incident.

The injured were rushed to the hospital for treatment, they added.

Overheating of a halogen light caused the fire, District Magistrate Gaurang Rathi said.

“A halogen light at the pandal overheated, following which an electric wire caught fire at multiple points simultaneously. Soon the fire engulfed the wooden scaffolding and the tent,” he said.

“A 45-year-old woman and a 10-year-old boy were killed in the mishap last night, while two children and a woman died at the hospital this morning,” Mr Rathi added.

Superintendent of Police Anil Kumar said a First Information Report or FIR has been registered at Aurai police station.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has condoled the loss of lives in the incident.

He has directed district administration officials to reach the hospital and ensure proper treatment of the injured, the Chief Minister’s Officer said.