Tyre factory fire causes loss worth lakhs : The Tribune India

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Tyre factory fire causes loss worth lakhs

BATHINDA: Huge piles of worn-out tyres caught fire at a tyre dump yard-cum factory situated in the middle of a residential area adjacent to the Barnala road after 4 pm today. The big flames could be seen from kilometers away. It was almost controlled by around 7: 15 pm.

Tyre factory fire causes loss worth lakhs

SSP Swapan Sharma supervises the operation to control the fire at the tyre factory near Barnala road in Bathinda on Monday. Photos: Vijay Kumar



Gurdeep Singh Mann

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, October 31

Huge piles of worn-out tyres caught fire at a tyre dump yard-cum factory situated in the middle of a residential area adjacent to the Barnala road after 4 pm today. The big flames could be seen from kilometers away. It was almost controlled by around 7: 15 pm.

The overwhelming blaze emitting thick toxic smoke caught the attention of the almost entire population of the Bathinda city, details about the incident remained sketchy till late in the evening. The efforts to control the fire completely was still on.

SSP Swapan Sharma was the first one to reach the spot after the arrival of around 12 fire tenders, which were called almost 30 minutes after the fire broke out.

“We have no idea why we got the call at 4.40 pm despite the fact that smoke was seen billowing from the site first between 4 pm to 4.15 pm,” said a fireman.

“The dump yard’s owner, Ravi Kumar, was not around at the time of the incident. A mechanic having a shop nearby, however, stated that tyres worth nearly Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh must have been gutted, besides the unbearable toxic pollution it created. The stench emitted from the burning of the tyres was felt by the people within a radius of up to three to five kilometers.

The heat emitted from the empty plot — with just one small dingy room — reached nearby houses and its owners shifted all costly and inflammable material in another nearby empty plot.

Operators of earth-removing machines were also not available due to Vishwakarma Day. However, a mechanic was called to help control the situation.

“It’s the fire personnel and volunteers of a Sirsa-based dera whose efforts bore fruit and the fire was doused or else it was difficult to control the situation in the initial hours,” said Gurjant Singh, a resident of the nearby Hazura Kapura Colony.

Bakhtaur Singh, whose son own one of the two houses adjoining the fire spot, the material of which was shifted, alleged that the owner failed to act despite the repeated requests to shift tyres to some other place.

“We complained to Ravi about the defacement of the landscape, accumulation of rainwater that foster breeding of mosquitoes and emitting of unbearable toxic air on the plot, but to no avail,” Bakhtaur said.

He said Ravi was operating the ‘dump yard’ for the past around 10 years but has recently increased the volume of the tyres.

Mechanics from nearby areas capturing the fire incident in their mobile phones said the tyres was divided into three to five parts with sharp hand-tools for further commercial use.

“Iron ring, soft and hard rubber is separated and is further sold off in various shapes to factories, brick-kilns and others,” a mechanic said.

Area residents Manwinder Singh, Rahul, Sukhjiwan and Poppy Singh said they had been residing in Bathinda for the past over three decades and had never seen such a massive fire.

“Initially it remained uncontrollable, but the role of the Bathinda SSP and fire personnel is appreciable,” Manwinder said.

He said keeping hundreds of people, who were taking selfies and making videos, at a distance was a herculean task for the police.

In two nearby houses of two families, Gurjeet Gora, a local SAD leader, and Surinder Kumar immense heat was felt due to the fire. The power connection of all houses was cut by the authorities in view of the fire and was not restored till late night.

The residents said Ravi had left just 15 minutes before the fire after distributing ‘prasad’ among his workers on the occasion of Vishwakarma Day.

Deputy Commissioner Basant Garg who too reached the spot and took stock of the situation said an inquiry about the incident would ascertain the exact reason behind the incident. Area residents said tyres from nearby districts too were dumped in the ‘dump yard’ for further segregation from rubber and iron rings for commercial purposes.

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