At least 24 people, including children, killed in fire in India’s Gujarat

The fire broke out at a family entertainment venue in Gujarat’s Rajkot district.

Gujarat fire
A burned gaming zone in Rajkot in the western state of Gujarat, India [Stringer/Reuters]

At least 24 people, including many children, have died in a fire that broke out at a family entertainment venue in the western Indian state of Gujarat, a government official said.

With rescue efforts continuing at the scene on Saturday evening in the Rajkot district, the local mayor told the Reuters news agency that the death toll was likely to rise.

“Our focus is on rescue operations and saving lives. We will ensure strict action is taken against the people who are responsible for this incident,” Mayor Nayana Pedhadiya said.

More than 300 people were in the two-storey structure at the TRP amusement and theme park when the blaze broke out as it was a holiday weekend, Rajkot fire officer Ilesh Kher told reporters.

“People got trapped as a temporary structure at the facility collapsed near the entrance, making it difficult for the people to come out,” he said.

“The flames spread rapidly because of its flammable material,” he added.

Television images showed a massive fire engulfing the TRP game zone and thick clouds of smoke emanating from the site. The entire structure was gutted in the blaze.

A police official at the local civil hospital said some of the bodies were also charred beyond recognition.

Meanwhile, the district’s chief fire officer, IV Kher, said firefighters had almost brought the fire under control.

“The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained,” he told Reuters.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has started investigating the incident as television reports added that Rajkot police had detained two people.

Gujarat is the home state of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In a post on the social media platform X, Modi said he was “extremely distressed by the fire mishap” and added that the local administration was working to provide assistance to those affected.

Source: News Agencies