Nearly 300 vehicles were destroyed after a fire broke out in the parking lot of the site of an air show in India’s Bengaluru Saturday afternoon. Officials say the cause of the fire could be a lit cigarette that was disposed on the grass in the open field
Huge plumes of thick black smoke could be seen in the sky near the Yelahanka air base in north Bengaluru, where about 100 aircraft were parked for the biennial Aero India 2019 event.
Senior police officer MN Reddi said the fire spread rapidly due to dry grass and strong winds. Hundreds of vehicles, including two-wheelers and cars, were parked in the open ground surrounded by fire.
The fire, which started at 11:55am Indian Time was controlled and no injuries were reported. A statement from the Indian defence ministry said the parking area is located well away from the venue, on the other side of the highway.
“IAF immediately launched one helicopter for aerial assessment, the helicopter assisted by providing effective directions to fight the fire. The fire was brought under control by deploying more than 12 fire fighting vehicles,” the statement said. Officials have called for an inquiry into the cause of fire.
The air show was temporarily suspended and no planes took off from the airbase until the fire was completely extinguished.