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Massive fire at gaming zone in Rajkot leaves 24 dead; ‘extremely distressed’, says PM Modi 

New Delhi, May 25: At least 24 persons, including 12 children, were reportedly killed in a massive fire at a gaming zone in Gujarat’s Rajkot on Saturday. The fire broke out inside the gaming zone in a shopping mall when it was teeming with children. Police teams and fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire. Sources said the owner of the gaming zone has been arrested. The shopping mall was inundated with crowds because of the weekend.

The intensity of the fire was so fierce that smoke was seen billowing from the shopping mall from a long distance. A couple of people are believed to be trapped inside the gaming zone where a rescue operation is in full swing. The state government has announced a compensation package of Rs 4 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for every injured person.

Expressing grief over the tragic incident Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a post on X: “Extremely distressed by the fire mishap in Rajkot. My thoughts are with all those who have lost their loved ones. Prayers for the injured. The local administration is working to provide all possible assistance to those affected.” “The fire tragedy in Rajkot has saddened us all. In my telephone conversation with him a short while ago, Gujarat CM Bhupendrabhai Patel Ji told me about the efforts underway to ensure all possible assistance is provided to those who have been affected,” the Prime Minister said in another post.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said: “I am deeply saddened by the accident that happened in the game zone of Rajkot (Gujarat). I have spoken to the Chief Minister Shri @Bhupendrapbjp ji and got information regarding this accident. “The administration is making every possible effort for relief and rescue work and is providing treatment to the injured. I express my deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in this tragic accident and wish for the speedy recovery of the injured.” Mourning the incident, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a post on X: “The news of the death of many people including innocent children due to a massive fire in the gaming zone of a mall in Rajkot, Gujarat, is very painful. I express my deepest condolences to all the bereaved families. I hope that all the injured recover as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has instructed the officials to prioritise the rescue operation and ensure immediate treatment for the injured. “Instructions have been given to the municipal corporation and the administration for immediate rescue and relief operations in the fire incident in the game zone in Rajkot. Instructions have also been issued to prioritise arrangements for immediate treatment of the injured,” the Gujarat CM said.

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