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BANGALORE: Massive fire breaks out at Bangalore Aero India 2019. The skies of Bangalore were engulfed with thick black smoke on February 23, 2019, that rose from Yelahanka air base; the venue for this year's aero show.
According to reports, the fire was initiated by careless disposal of a cigarette butt on dry vegetation. It took only a few minutes' time for the blaze to spread to almost 300 vehicles (out of the near-thousand parked at the location). The fire broke out only moments after spectators were thrilled to see the badminton icon, P V Sindhu, soaring to the skies co-piloting a Tejas LCV (Light Combat Aircraft) trainer.
Seeing the dark fumes, witnesses outside the compound thought that a plane crash had happened. However, it was soon confirmed that no aircraft were involved in the accident and the fire was created by human mishap only.
Ground reports state that many came to know about the fire outbreak after hearing a loud 'bang'. Before firefighters and other safety personnel could reach the location, the flames had already spread at an uncontrollable rate. More than 10 fire engines rushed to the spot in a moment's notice.
When the fire broke, at least 15 drivers were asleep inside some cars parked in the location. Except for a handful number of people, nobody could see the fire before it evolved to such a stage. Those who saw it first instantly reacted by banging on the windows of the vehicles in which people were sleeping, to alert them of the potential danger.
No human casualties were reported except for one firefighter who sustained a minor injury when a glass window of one the cars burst due to the heat. The parking spot is located a few kilometres away from the main venue of Aero India 2019.
Officials have confirmed that the air show will not be disrupted on account of this incident, even though it was temporarily suspended till the fire was put out. The fire was completely put out in less than 20 minutes.
Saturday was the fourth and second-last of Aero India 2019 which commenced on February 20.
Residents of Yelahanka were still recovering from the unfateful mid-air collision of two Surya Kiran 7 aerobatic aircraft that claimed the life of Wing Commander, Sahil Gandhi. The incident occurred on February 19; just one day before Aero India 2019.
(Watch this space for more updates)