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Fire breaks out at a building near Mata Vaishno Devi shrine; video surfaces

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

A fire broke out on Tuesday at a building situated near the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra in Jammu and Kashmir. A video of the incident has also surfaced online, showing a large amount of smoke coming out of the building.

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The fire – believed to be the result of an electrical short circuit – broke out around 4.15 pm inside a cash counting room in Kalika Bhavan, which is adjacent to the sanctum sanctorum. It burned for about 45 minutes before being brought under control at around 5 pm. No deaths have been reported.

The building suffered significant damage; visuals from after the fire was put out showed it had been completely burned down. Officials say some cash and documents were destroyed.

“We got a call around 4.30 pm. Initial reports suggest the fire broke out due to electric (short)circuit,” Shailender Singh, the Senior Superintendent of Police for Reasi district, told media.

“SHO (Station House Officer) Reasi rescued people who trapped inside the fire. Some suffered minor injuries and are getting medical attention,” he added.

SSP Singh said the CEO of the Vaishno Devi Shrine board had reached the spot and was assessing damages. “We will know what caused the fire after further investigation,” he said.

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The initial alarm had been sounded by CRPF personnel stationed there, news agency PTI said.

Visuals from earlier in the day were posted on Twitter and showed a huge plume of black smoke pouring out of the top floor of a building.

Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh said he had spoken to the Reasi District Collector and been told the situation was being resolved.

“Spoke to DC Reasi, S Charandeep Singh, just now and inquired about the fire that broke out near the Vaishno Devi shrine some time back. Thankfully, everything brought under control. No major loss reported. However, keeping a close track for the next few hours,” he tweeted.

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