Kollam: A massive fire broke out at a medicine storage facility in Uliyakovil in Kollam at around 8.30 pm on Wednesday. The fire occurred at the district warehouse of Kerala Medical Service Corporation. Fire and Rescue services from five stations force units swiftly responded and were able to extinguish the fire after six hours of effort.
As per reports, the warehouse and its entire components have been gutted. Loss of crores has been estimated. A major tragedy was averted as the fire didn’t spread to the houses nearby. The timely intervention of the police and the fire force helped to mitigate the disaster.
The security staff on duty were the first to notice the fire and informed the residents and the police. The fire erupted at a part of the warehouse that had a stock of bleaching powder and it spread to other parts. The medicines, equipment including computers were all gutted in fire. The presence of highly flammable materials such as sanitizers aggravated the situation. Vehicles parked in the compound were also damaged in fired.
The fire force officials were unable to douse the fire at first due to intense heat. Almost 20 fire engines worked at the same time to extinguish the fire.
75 families who were residing nearby were evacuated when the fire was not under control. Seven locals who felt uneasiness after inhaling the fumes have been hospitalized. The locals allege that fire extinguishing facilities were not available in the warehouse.
The warehouse at Uliyakovil is the major distribution centre for medicines in Kollam district. Medicines to the district hospitals and PHCs are supplied from here. It is estimated that medicines worth Rs 10 crore has been damaged in the fire. The fire force has launched an investigation into the incident.