Fire in cotton mill destroys bales worth rs 2.50 cr crore

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Old 17-Jan-2011
Fire in cotton mill destroys bales worth rs 2.50 cr crore

Bathinda January 17:

Army help was sought by the district administration to control fire in a private cotton mill here that destroyed bales worth about Rs 2.50 crore.

The fire started around 1.30 pm and could be brought under control in about three hours. Cotton stock in all the three godowns was destroyed in the fire, said HS Randhawa, managing director of the mill.

Eyewitnesses said the fire could have been controlled earlier had the local fire brigade responded to the call within time. It took about one hour for a tender of the fire brigade to reach the spot in the industrial growth centre that is in the outskirts of the town. Drivers of the three other fire tenders were on leave as a result of which these could not be moved to the spot.

The newly appointed Deputy Commissioner, S Karuna Raju, reached the spot and personally supervised the fire-control operations. He summoned fire fighters of the Army, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), 11 Field Ordinance Depot, Bathinda refinery, thermal power house, National Fertiliser Ltd (NFL) and also from Muktsar district to bring the flames under control. More than 15 fire tenders reached the spot and doused the fire.

Raju said that he had mobilised all available resources to control the fire and check further damage because oil depots of two petroleum companies and an LPG plant were in the vicinity. He said the delay in response by the local fire brigade to reach the spot would be investigated. The cotton mill did not have its own system to fight the fire although an earlier fire in 2003 had also caused considerable damage.

Randhawa said that nine tonnes of cotton was brought in the mill last evening and the previous stocks were also lying in the stores because of the bumper cotton season. The cause of the fire was being investigated by the police but a worker of the mill claimed that it started following a spark in a machine.

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