At least 300 cars destroyed in India air show fire

Firefighters extinguishing smouldering cars after a fire at the carpark on Saturday during Aero India 2019, one of the world's biggest air shows, at the Yelahanka air base in Bangalore, India. At least 300 vehicles were caught in the blaze, which spr
Firefighters extinguishing smouldering cars after a fire at the carpark on Saturday during Aero India 2019, one of the world's biggest air shows, at the Yelahanka air base in Bangalore, India. At least 300 vehicles were caught in the blaze, which spread rapidly due to dry grass and strong winds.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI • At least 300 cars were destroyed in a fire at the carpark of a government-run air show in India's southern city of Bangalore.

Officials said no one was injured.

The cause of the fire on Saturday could have been a lit cigarette that was disposed of on the grass in the open field, Indian broadcaster NDTV reported, citing official sources.

City fire services chief M.N. Reddi said the blaze at Aero India 2019 had spread rapidly due to dry grass and strong winds.

Huge plumes of black smoke were seen rising from the burnt vehicles near the Yelahanka air base, where an estimated 100 aircraft were also parked for the biennial event.

A probe has been ordered into the cause of the fire, India's Defence Ministry said.

The air show was temporarily suspended while the fire spread, and no planes took off from the air base until the flames were doused, reports said.

Aero India, which is organised by the defence ministry, is among the biggest air shows in the world.

Saturday's incident comes after a collision between two jets of the Indian Air Force's aerobatic team during rehearsals last Tuesday. The collision killed one pilot and injured two.

DPA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2019, with the headline 'At least 300 cars destroyed in India air show fire'. Print Edition | Subscribe