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Fire in Surat textile market, loss pegged at Rs 400 cr

A major fire broke out in a multi-storey building housing a textile market on Puna Kumbharia road in Surat around 9 am on Thursday. Goods of Rs 300-400 crore are estimated to have been damaged in the fire at the 17-storey Orchid building, which houses 300 offices of textile traders and makers.

Anil Agarwal, founder and managing director, Vipul Fashions, which makes and trades in sarees and dress material, said, “Our offices were on the first floor and there was not much damage as the fire spread mostly on the top floors. About Rs 300-400 crore of goods are estimated to have been damaged.”

Surat Municipal Commissioner Manoj Kumar Das said no casualty had been reported and 90 per cent of the fire was under control by 1 pm. Around 30 fire and emergency services personnel, with 35 vehicles and three hydraulic fire extinguishers, were pressed into service.

Sources said fire-fighting equipment from nearby industrial establishments, such as Essar’s Hazira plant, were sought by fire and emergency services officials.

Sources at the unit said a fire jeep and two fire experts were deployed by the company to help douse the fire at Orchid.

The incident at Orchid occurred a day after a meeting of Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association and Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), wherein the building was given 15 days to install fire and safety measures.

Fire and emergency services officials said this was the third such fire outbreak in the town in 15 days. “Usually, such incidents increase during summers,” an official said.

Sources said there were 156 such textile markets in Surat, each with 200 units. A member of the Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association said, “With so many textile markets, it is unlikely that one fire incident will impact the sector’s daily operations.”

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