SHILLONG: In the wake of the destructive fire that consumed a building in Shillong’s Police Bazar and claimed one life, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, accompanied by top officials, personally visited the site to assess the damage on Sunday.
Further addressing the matter, Chief Minister Sangma disclosed that the matter of safety in the context of such incidents will be on the agenda for an upcoming cabinet meeting scheduled for October 18.
During his visit, the Chief Minister carried out a detailed inspection of the affected site and convened a review meeting with key officials to understand the events surrounding the fire. He stressed the need for a thorough investigation into the root cause of the blaze.
Taking a compassionate stance, the Chief Minister also met with families who were directly affected by the incident, extending his heartfelt condolences and ensuring necessary support.
The blaze, which broke out at approximately 1:20 pm on Saturday, raged on for over 24 hours, severely threatening the densely packed market area, near Payal Cinema at Thana Road. One of the most pressing concerns raised in the wake of the incident is the delay in the arrival of the fire tenders.
Eyewitness accounts reported in the local press indicate a nearly 40-minute delay before firefighters reached the scene, a setback which potentially worsened the situation, allowing the flames to spread unchecked.
Complicating the efforts of the Meghalaya Fire Service, the narrow confines of Thana Road severely hindered the movement of several fire tenders. Such infrastructural limitations underline the challenges faced during emergencies in the area.
Chief Minister Sangma underscored the complexity faced by the rescue teams, noting that the building housed multiple godowns, adding layers of challenge to the firefighting endeavours. In light of the incident, he announced that comprehensive safety audits and precautionary measures would be set in motion to preclude similar occurrences in the future.