The Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated that a court of inquiry will be formed to probe the fire which broke out in the parking lot of Aero India airshow in Bengaluru on Saturday. The fire damaged at least 300 vehicles parked in parking area number 5 at the venue of the airshow in Yelahanka.
In a statement, the MoD stated that the parking area was at a distance from the venue of the airshow. "Today morning at around 1155hrs an unfortunate incident occurred, wherein fire broke out in one of the parking areas outside the venue of Aero India 2019. The parking area is located well away from the Aero India venue on the other side of the highway," read the statement.
Fire fighting services were pressed into service to contain the fire. "All available fire fighting services, Rapid Action Force and NDRF teams were immediately mobilised. IAF immediately launched one helicopter for aerial assessment, the helicopter assisted by providing effective directions to fight the fire. The fire was brought under control by deploying more than 12 fire fighting vehicles," added the statement.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined although initial reports suggest that a lit cigarette may have been thrown on the grass, which may have triggered the blaze. There have been no casualties reported in the fire. While the Ministry of Defense statement said that around 150 vehicles were burnt in the fire, fire officials said that the number is around 300.
The airshow resumed in the afternoon as per schedule.
Eyewitnesses told TNM that the fire caused a chain of small explosions as it spread across the parking area causing a huge plume of smoke to rise in the air.
The incident comes days after the accident which killed one pilot of the Indian Air Forceās Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team while rehearsing for the airshow.