Rajkot game zone operated without fire license; death toll touches 35

Officials clear charred remains at the site of a fire accident on the following day of the disaster, at an amusement park facility in Rajkot. Photo: AFP via PTI.

Rajkot: As the death toll in the fire tragedy at the Gamezone amusement park in Rajkot reached 35, it has emerged that the administrators took advantage of the weekend and launched a Rs 99 scheme, drastically reducing the entry fee from Rs 500 to lure the visitors. Sources said this ill-fated decision, driven by profit, pushed people into a death trap.

According to sources, the Gamezone saw an overwhelming crowd due to the Rs 99 scheme. The entry fee was slashed from Rs 500 to Rs 99 to attract more holiday and weekend visitors. As a result, approximately 300 people had thronged the Gamezone when the fire broke out.

It has come to light that the Gamezone management did not obtain a Fire No Objection Certificate (NOC). To avoid municipal approvals, the Gamezone was set up in a shed, and a three-story facility was launched after only acquiring a ride certificate. The officials responsible for issuing these certificates are now absconding.
The fire reportedly started due to a welding spark on a ladder. With only one staircase available, people on the second and third floors were trapped, leading to a higher casualty rate. The fire spread rapidly due to the structure and materials used in the Gamezone.

The Gamezone featured rubber and resin flooring, thermocol sheet partitions, and over a thousand tyres around the car zone, creating a highly flammable environment. Additionally, 1500 litres of diesel stored on-site exacerbated the fire, causing it to become fierce and uncontrollable, the sources added.

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