Cold storage collapses after fire

Nagpur: Adinath Cold Storage that caught fire nine days ago at Gumthala on Bhandara road has suffered huge structural damage resulting in the collapse of its major portion.
It may be recalled that firefighters had to struggle for days to bring the fire under control.

Officials of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) fire and emergency services department told TOI that the firm that owns the cold storage has been asked to ensure complete demolition of the structure as soon as possible. “Some part of the cold storage is still standing but it has turned weak necessitating its demolition,” they said.

Interestingly, a cold storage-cum-godown at Kalamna, owned by the same firm which operated Adinath Cold Storage, had caught fire in February.

As reported by TOI on June 3, the cold storage had a stock of around 13,500 gunny bags of red chillis and huge quantity of wheat, pulses, corn etc.

An official from the fire department said it was a very difficult task to bring the fire at Adinath Cold Storage under control due to burning of red chillis. “We waited for three days so that red chillis are completely gutted. In the absence of wide entrance, we had to bore holes in the walls of the cold storage to attempt firefighting. As the days passed, it became riskier as the structure damaged by the fire had started to collapse,” he said.

In Kalamna fire incident, around 60,000 quintal rice, wheat and pulses had been destroyed.

Activist Kamlesh Shah said NMC officials should be held responsible for the two fire incidents. “I have been complaining about violations in cold storages since 2012. None of the departments took cognisance. The authorities should now inspect all cold storages and shut down those violating norms. Any loss to foodgrains is a national loss. Also, many farmers and traders get affected due to such incidents,” he said.

In a major tragedy six years ago, Pravesh Cold Storage at Chikhli had caved in killing 18 persons on January 31, 2012.

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