Massive fire at Vaishno Devi shrine complex; cash, property damaged | India News

JAMMU: A massive fire broke out in the Vaishno Devi shrine complex — nestled on Trikuta Hills in Reasi district of J&K — on Tuesday, in which one building was completely damaged and “some cash and records” were gutted. Three shrine employees were trapped in the fire, which started at 4pm and was brought under control by 4.25pm, but were rescued in the nick of time.
A huge plume of smoke was seen billowing from the building housing the cash-counting room, where the fire started. The fire-fighting squad of the shrine immediately swung into action after CRPF personnel raised an alarm. The fire is believed to have been triggered by an electrical short-circuit.
The cash-counting room is just a stone’s throw away from the world-famous shrine, which miraculously remained untouched by the fire, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board officials said, adding that the temple will continue to remain open for pilgrims.
Board CEO Ramesh Kumar said, “There was no loss of life as there is restricted entry to the shrine due to Covid protocols. We are ascertaining loss in terms of currency, but it might not be much as not many pilgrims are being allowed into the shrine per day.” Kumar added that the exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.
Pilgrimage at the shrine had resumed on August 16 after remaining suspended following the Covid-induced lockdown in March 2020.

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