On the morning of July 16, 2021, a massive fire broke out at the four-storeyed Puri shopping complex in Bhubaneswar, India, which houses around 150 shops. The flames and thick black smoke from the fire had engulfed the entire building, and over 140 people were trapped inside.

As soon as the fire was reported, the fire department and other emergency services swung into action, and a massive rescue operation was launched. The people trapped inside the complex were shouting for help, and soon the fire engines and rescue vehicles rushed to the spot. The fire department took control of the situation, and the rescued people were taken to the nearest hospitals for treatment.

The fire was so intense that it had taken more than 12 hours to bring it under control. The smoke had engulfed the entire area, and people were advised to stay indoors to avoid inhaling toxic fumes. The fire department had deployed more than 12 fire tenders, and a team of rescue workers was also present, who were carrying out the rescue operations. The authorities had also sought assistance from the Indian Airforce to put out the fire.

As the fire continued, several people who were trapped inside the complex had to jump from the upper floors to save their lives. Several others were rescued by the fire department, who used ladders to reach them. Most of the people trapped inside the complex were shop owners, their employees, and customers.

Speaking to the media, one of the shop owners said, “I was in my shop when the fire broke out. I tried to save my goods, but the fire spread so quickly that I had to abandon everything and rushed to the terrace to save my life. The fire was so intense that the entire complex was engulfed in flames within minutes. I heard people screaming for help and saw several others jumping from the building to save themselves.”

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the authorities suspect that it might have started due to a short circuit. They have ordered an investigation into the incident, and the owners of the complex have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. The authorities have also instructed the owners of other commercial buildings in the area to follow safety norms to avoid such incidents in the future.

As the fire was brought under control, the rescue operations continued, and more than 140 people were rescued from the complex. They were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, and the authorities have assured that all necessary measures will be taken to provide them with medical care.

The incident has once again highlighted the need for safety measures to be followed in commercial buildings to avoid such disasters. The owners of commercial buildings need to ensure that they follow safety norms, such as installing fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and proper electrical wiring. The authorities also need to conduct regular safety audits to ensure that all safety measures are in place.

As the situation in the Puri shopping complex gets back to normal, the rescue workers and fire department personnel who were involved in the operation are being praised for their bravery and dedication. They risked their lives to save others, and their efforts are commendable.

In conclusion, the Puri shopping complex fire is a reminder that safety measures should never be taken for granted. It is essential for commercial building owners to follow safety norms to prevent such disasters, and the authorities need to ensure that all safety measures are enforced. The timely response of the fire department and rescue workers saved over 140 lives and prevented a greater catastrophe. Their courage and selflessness are an inspiration to us all.