Coimbatore, Apr 25 (): A major fire broke out on the third floor of a building in Coimbatore on Thursday in which four women who were said to be employees of Axis Bank were feared killed and more than ten people were injured in the accident which started at around 10:15 am. Police said that the four dead were retrieved and charred beyond recognition.
Though fire engines were immediately rushed to the spot, officials said that it took two to three hours to extinguish the fire. Sources said that some policemen and few officials belonging to the rescue team were also injured while fighting the fire and were rushed to the hospital. Later reports said that the officials were out of danger.
All the four women who were working in the bank were employed in the offices functioning out of Vigneswar Cresta at Lakshmi Mills Junction in the city. Until fire tenders reached the spot, local people who took part in rescue operation said that as fire escalated two women jumped out of the third floor and were injured.
People who were believed to be trapped were airlifted using a chopper. However, most of the people were rescued using a ladder from city corporation and fire service department except a forty year old woman Margaret, a member of the building’s housekeeping department who was said to be missing. It was not however clear whether the woman was among those killed.
The building which was mostly occupied by Axis Bank on lease raised question among the fire safety experts after the incident that how the building used for banking was allowed by the city’s civic authorities to function without proper fire emergency exits.
The building was occupied by eight offices in which three hundred people were employed. Sources said a short circuit in an air-conditioner duct is suspected to be the cause of fire.