Bengaluru, Feb 23: A fire in the parking lot in front of the Yelahanka air base in Bengaluru, where the Aero India show is underway, gutted about 300 cars on Saturday, police said. No casualties were reported.
“The blaze is likely to have been caused due to dry grass catching fire aided by high velocity winds,” Director General of Police for Fire and Emergency Services M.N. Reddi told IANS.
The fire, which began around 12 noon, quickly burnt down the vehicles parked by visitors and public attending the show at the Indian Air Force base in the northern outskirts of the city.
Thick black smoke was billowing in the sky soon after the air display of aircraft, which began at 10 a.m., came to an end.
The fire personnel controlled the blaze by creating a gap by removing adjacent cars, Reddi said.
“In all, 300 cars were burnt. Fire is fully extinguished now,” he tweeted later.
The exact reason for the fire, however, could not be ascertained.
“Details of damage to vehicles is being ascertained. A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of fire,” said a statement from the Ministry of Defence here.
A total of 12 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire, the statement said.
The aerial display of aircraft in the afternoon, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., continued according to schedule.
Several of the visitors, however, left the venue even as the air display was on in the afternoon, fearing their vehicles were among the ones damaged.
“We had parked our car in the parking lot opposite to the air base. An announcement in the air display area by the air show organisers at 12.30 p.m. only said it was a small fire, but did not mention about the cars catching fire,” Shashi Kumar, a city-based engineer visiting the expo, told IANS.