Nine persons killed and few others injured in a huge fire in a multi-storied building here on Monday.
The fire, which apparently broke out in the chemical drums stored in the ground floor, spread to the upper floors, trapping the inmates.
The incident occurred in the Bazar Ghat area in Nampally in the heart of the city.
Four fire tenders rushed to the spot and doused the fire.
Personnel from fire services and Disaster Response Force rescued 21 people and shifted them to hospitals.
Seven persons residing on the second floor and two residing on the third died of asphyxiation as a thick smoke engulfed the entire building.
Director of fire safety Nagi Reddy told media persons that 10 of those rescued were in an unconscious state.
He said the chemical used in making the fibre body of coolers was stored in the stilt floor in stilt+4 floor building located in the residential area.
“In all probability the fire started because of the chemical and spread to the upper floor,” he said, adding that the cause of the fire was under investigation.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Venkateshwarlu said the fire started due to a spark in a car which was being repaired in the ground floor.
Preliminary investigations show that six persons died of suffocation as the smoke engulfed the upper floors, he added.
There were six families living in six flats on the first, second and third floors. There was no one on the fourth floor.
Officials say since the building does not come under high-rise category they assume it had building permission. However, the chemical was apparently stored illegally.
The director of fire safety said the fire reportedly started around 8.30 a.m. but the fire services received the call at 9.35 a.m.
Meanwhile, minister for municipal administration K. T. Rama Rao, along with city minister T. Srinivas Yadav, visited the site.
Minister KTR announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each for the families of those killed.
He directed officials to ensure best treatment to the injured admitted to government-run Osmania Hospital.
Union minister and state BJP president G. Kishan Reddy, Congress leaders V. Hanumantha Rao and Feroz Khan visited the scene. They alleged that such incidents were occurring due to negligence of the state government.