Major fire at Pondicherry University ahead of PM’s visit, no causality
Nine days ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Pondicherry University, a major fire broke out in the computer laboratory of the department of mathematics, burning down computers and accessories, air-conditioners and other electrical items, furniture and windows. The fire brought to fore the poor safety standards at the central university. An electrical short-circuit is said to have sparked the fire.
Fire and rescue services personnel said students of the department of mathematics were working at the computer laboratory on Thursday morning when one of them noticed smoke emanating from a computer. He alerted other students and everyone rushed out of the laboratory to safety. Soon a fire broke out and engulfed the laboratory in no time. The university staff members alerted fire and rescue services personnel at 11.05 am on Thursday and a fire tender from Kalape rushed to the spot.
Another fire tender from Puducherry town was also pressed into service. Twenty-two fire services personnel battled hard for almost one-and-a-half hours to put out the fire. Fire and rescue service personnel said electrical short circuit led to the fire. The value of the properties destroyed in fire is estimated around Rs one crore.