05/26/2024, 12.37
Send to a friend

India mourns children lost in fires at an amusement park and a children's hospital

by Nirmala Carvalho

Dozens of people died in two separate incidents last night in Gujarat and Delhi. The gaming venue operated for four years without proper licences. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” the bishop of Rajkot told AsiaNews. “We grieve with the families”.

Rajkot (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Just as World Children's Day is being celebrated in Rome with Pope Francis, India is grappling with two serious tragedies involving children and their families.

At least 33 people, including many children, died in a fire that broke out last night at an amusement park in the city of Rajkot, Gujarat. At the time of the fire, the venue was very crowded, as schools had already started their summer break.

The amusement park, which opened four years ago, was in a temporary two-storey structure with tin roofs. Fire was reportedly caused when some welding work was being carried out.

Local authorities are investigating the condition of the structure but it seems it was operating without a proper licence.

The bodies of the victims were burnt beyond recognition. DNA samples are being collected from bodies and relatives for identification.

“Extremely distressed by the fire mishap in Rajkot,” wrote on X Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “My thoughts are with all those who have lost their loved ones. Prayers for the injured. The local administration is working to provide all possible assistance to those affected.”

Bishop Jose Chittooparambil of Rajkot also expressed his grief on behalf of the diocese.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” he told AsiaNews. “We grieve with the families of those who lost their loved ones in the fire. So many children lost their lives; they went for a time of fun and relaxation at the gaming zone,” he added.

“The entire city is in shock. This place is just three kilometres from the Bishop’s House.  We pray to God to console the families and we stand in prayerful solidarity with them.”

Also last night, a large fire broke out at a private children's hospital in Delhi’s Vivek Vihar area, causing the death of seven newborns and injuring five more.

“The government should take the necessary precautions to avoid further incidents like this and always stand for the safety and protection of its citizens," said Fr Vinod Kanatt, a member of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate who worked for 25 years in the Diocese of Rajkot and is currently parish priest at St Joseph's Church, Chembalam, in the Diocese of Idukki (Kerala).

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
National Commission for Women asks for 'immediate action' in the nun rape case in Kerala
07/02/2019 17:28
Gujarat: the ‘cycling’ priest at Christmas helping a needy family
23/12/2020 16:57
BJP recruits Kerala priest, diocese suspends him
03/10/2023 11:49
Delhi, workers massacred in fire at illegal factory: 43 dead
09/12/2019 09:57
Mgr Chirackal, a missionary bishop for Tura
06/07/2020 16:30


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”