Medical appliance retailer ‘will not reopen’ in case of a fire
Tens of medical appliance retailers in India have been ordered to reopen in the event of a natural disaster, in what the government said would be the first in the country.
The order comes after a blaze at a medical supply store killed at least 19 people and left hundreds homeless, including a seven-year-old boy who suffered burns to 80 per cent of his body.
“It is a good thing that the stores are operating normally,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement on Sunday.
“The government is taking all measures necessary to ensure that the safety and welfare of all people is ensured.”
The fires in the eastern state of Andhra Pradesh killed at the least 19 and injured at least 50 on Saturday, including six children, according to local authorities.
The blaze also left one person missing.
The government said on Sunday that about 1,000 firefighting vehicles would be deployed in Andhra in the next 24 hours to help contain the blaze.
It added that it would also provide additional funds to help repair the damaged buildings and improve access to fire-fighting facilities.
In response to the blaze, the government has ordered a nationwide evacuation of all affected areas and deployed 2,000 firefighters.
Modi had earlier said he would visit the affected areas of Andra Pradesh and Maharashtra in a bid to get an “insight” into what went wrong.