- Fire started due to short circuit, now under control
- 100 stalls gutted, no reports of casualties
- Around 2,500 stalls at the venue, organisers said
Seven people have been taken to hospital after a massive blaze broke out at the crowded Nampally Exhibition Grounds in Hyderabad on Wednesday evening. 13 fire engines were sent battle the blaze.
Panicked visitors tried to rush out to safety, even causing a minor stampede.
The fire started at one of the stalls at the All India Industrial Exhibition and quickly spread to about a hundred of them.
Since the stalls at the annual Numaish exhibition were makeshift, the fire spread quickly, officials said.
Eyewitnesses, many of them businessmen, said they suffered heavy losses due to the fire. They demanded financial assistance since they had taken loans to set up their stalls.
Zonal Commissioner of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Musharraf Farooqi said that a short circuit led to the fire. "More than 100 shops have been gutted. There are no casualties and fire has been brought under control," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"We will conduct an survey on the loss and help the stall owners. Firefighters and police are doing their duty," Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mehmood Ali told ANI.
The exhibition ground at Nampally is right opposite to the Congress state headquarters in Hyderabad. It attracts a huge number of visitors, especially on holidays.
The 45-day All-India industrial exhibition popularly called ''Numaish'' began on January 1.
Organising Committee of the Exhibition had earlier said around 2,500 stalls will be set up at the Nampally exhibition grounds.
(With inputs from PTI)