A massive fire broke out Saturday in the parking bay of the Air Force base in Bengaluru’s Yelahanka, gutting over 100 vehicles and leading to suspension of flying at Aero India 2019.
“About 100 cars have been burnt in the fire. The spread of fire was curtailed by creating gaps by removing adjacent cars,” said M.N. Reddi, Karnataka director general for fire and emergency services.
“No injuries or harm to the people have been reported.”
Reddi said dry grass near the parking lot, aided by heavy winds, likely caused the fire.
However, witnesses on the ground said that the sun wasn’t too hot. They suspected a lit cigarette to be the likely cause.
The parking bay is far from the main venue of the Aero India where the aircraft are parked. However, flying of aircraft was suspended for the day due to the heavy smoke that the fire generated.
A large number of people had turned up Saturday for the airshow as it was opened up for general public after three business days.
This was the second major incident at the 12th edition of the Aero India within a span of just five days.
On the eve of the airshow’s scheduled start on 20 February, two Hawk aircraft of the Indian Air Force’s Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team collided mid air Tuesday. While two personnel were able to eject, Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi died in the accident.
The airshow has seen a lukewarm response from foreign firms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has skipped the event.
The fire on the fourth day of the show has proved to be yet another damper. The event is set to wrap up Sunday.
Source: The Print