A major fire broke out at a restaurant inside a shopping mall in Ghaziabad Sunday afternoon, trapping at least 80 people who were rescued by the Fire Safety Department, officials said.
The incident was reported around 3.50 pm from Barbecue Nation restaurant at the Gaur Central Mall in the upscale Raj Nagar area of the city, the officials said.
"The fire broke out at the fifth floor of the mall and the smoke had filled its premises. Immediately two fire tenders were rushed to the spot with senior servicemen on duty. Panic-stricken people were running amok and immediately the evacuation process was started," a Fire Department official said.
At the time of the fire, there were around 50 customers and 30 staff members inside the restaurant and all were safely evacuated, the official said.
"There were two exits at the restaurant. One of them, from the kitchen, was blocked and its door had to be broken down for quick evacuation. Due to the heavy smoke that was suspended in the air, the people were made to crouch and crawl out of the restaurant," the official said.
"The smoke spread inside the mall via the air duct, which was soon choked. A further spread of the smoke was controlled," the fire official said.
Chief Fire Safety Officer, Ghaziabad, Sunil Kumar Singh also reached the spot for supervision, as the officials carried out the evacuation at the mall, the official said.
The cause of the fire could not be known immediately and probe was underway to ascertain its cause, he added.
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