Hyderabad woke up to a part of its history going up in flames as one of India's oldest clubs was destroyed in a massive fire that broke out early this morning.
Established by the British in 1878, the Secunderabad Club is said to be among the five oldest clubs of India and was located on a lush green 22-acre campus.
The fire department said that a short-circuit could be the reason behind the fire that started around 2:30am and was doused by 6am. No casualties have been reported, officials said.
Damages of Rs 35-40 crore have been estimated due to the accident.
Prestigious and extremely popular #SecunderabadClub gutted in fire that may have been triggered by short circuit; #Hyderabad is waking up to a part of its history going up in flames; said to be among five oldest clubs in India, established in 1878 #Heartbreaking@firstname.lastname@example.org/K0ao66hJXD— Uma Sudhir (@umasudhir) January 16, 2022
The police commissioner of Hyderabad city, CV Anand, said 50,000 square ft built-up area was largely made of wood, so the club did not stand a chance despite fire and police rescue efforts.
"The club office-bearers have not expressed any suspicion - fire department and police will probe as per procedures," the police chief said.
Video footage showed the club engulfed in a huge blaze as parts of the building started collapsing.
The club, which has 8,000 members and has been given the heritage status by the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority, boasted of a cricket field, swimming pool and many other outdoor sports facilities. It was likely the only members' club to have its own dedicated Sailing Annexe.
A colonnade patterned in the Old British style, a spacious ball room and an open-air theatre were some of the other facilities provided by the club. The club also had a 5-star accommodation that included Heritage Suites. It was extremely well-laid out with air-conditioned bars, dining halls, banquet halls as well as a number of lawns for large gatherings and parties.