Two House Boats Gutted in Fire; Two Die in Mid-Night Kashmir Tremor



“Young Golden Palace” and “Humayun Palace” – the two houseboats worth Rs 8 Crore were completely gutted in a devastating fire in world famed Dal lake here.

The fire started around 5:30 am on Saturday morning from one houseboat and engulfed another destroying both of them completely. The proprietors of these House Boats told CNS that

Fire and Emergency Services Department failed to respond to the SOS calls while the motor boat present at Ghat number 1 arrived two hours late.

“After one and a half hour, CRPF personnel from 144 Battalion arrived on scene and tried to douse the fire, but both the house boats were completely destroyed till then,” Altaf Ahmed Shala said.

“These houseboats could not be saved despite best efforts by volunteers,” said a local woman. The victims appealed government to grant them permission to rebuild the houseboats at the earliest. “We lost everything. We are finished and have no source of income. We appeal to the government to compensate us and allow us to rebuild these house boats again,” the victims said.

A police official said that the cause of the fire is attributed to short-circuit. The loss of precious houseboats, estimated at Rs 8 Crore, was widely mourned by tourism and travel trade industry and other business people.

Meanwhile, two persons are reported to have died post mid-night earthquake which hit Kashmir.

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit Northern India including Kashmir Valley, northern Afghanistan and Pakistan during the intervening night of Friday and Saturday.

Strong shocks were felt in Jammu and Kashmir at 12:47pm waking sleeping people and driving them out of their houses.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake, initially reported as magnitude 6.4, was at a depth of 126.5 miles (203 km) and centred 51 miles (82 km) southeast of the town of Feyzabad, capital of the Afghan province of Badakhshan.

Reports said that a man Zarid Ahmad, son of Sher Mohammad, a resident of Gulatha Harni in Mendhar, suffered a shock during the earthquake.

Another person from Ladiwora Barmulla whom police identified Syed Muhammad Younis also died after suffering from heart attack during the heart attack.


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