Fire at Punjab’s mini-secretariat damages files, computers


Fire broke out on Sunday evening in the record room number 702 on the seventh floor of the Punjab's Mini- Secretariat, Sector 9, in Chandigarh, destroying computers containing important data and files related to the forest department and Punjab Mandi board.

"A few employees were working in the record room number 702. They left by 4 pm. At 4.57 pm, we received a call that there was a fire at the seventh floor of the mini-secretariat as smoke was coming out from the windows. Within minutes, three fire tenders with hydraulic ladders reached the spot. Within 20-25 minutes, the fire brigade personnel extinguished the fire," said station fire officer M L Sharma. MC Commissioner Rajiv Gupta and the chief fire officer also rushed to the spot.

Sharma said that 75 per cent of files were safe without any substantial damage. Twenty-five per cent of files along with all the computers had been destroyed, though the exact loss of data was yet to be ascertained. "There was neither a casualty nor any injury to anyone in the department. We will revisit the spot to check if there was any fire safety violation and to inquire the exact cause of fire," he added.

A team of Central Forensic Science Laboratory will visit the spot on Monday to conduct an investigation. Short circuit, as per preliminary investigation, appears to be the cause of the fire.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has marked an inquiry into the matter to check any foul play. He has asked Dr Roshan Sunkaria, secretary, general administration, to probe the incident.

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