The 12th edition of Aero India observed a tragic incident on Saturday, February 23, 2019 after a fire broke out in the parking lot of Yelahanka airbase. 10 fire force and 5 fire engines were rushed to douse off the violent fire which led a dense cloud above the entire airbase. The massive fire incident gutted more than 300 cars parked in the parking lot.
This year, Asia’s biggest air show Aero India is hosted by Yelahanka Air Force Station at Bengaluru in Karnataka. The five day biennial air show began on Wednesday after the inaugural speech by the Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, and the disastrous incident took place on the 4th day resulting in suspension of the further events. The unfortunate incident broke out at 11:55 am when badminton player PV Sindhu was on board co-piloting the Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas.
As per the officials, the cause of the incident could be a lit cigarette that was disposed on the grass in the open field and gradually engulfed the whole dwellings in the parking lot with the help of wind. The parking area belongs to Indian Air force and was far away from the Aero India venue, separated by Ballari road.
10 fire force and 5 fire engines reached the spot following which rapid action force and National Disaster response team reported at the airbase. Fire department took initial measures and created a gap between the adjacent cars. IAF launched a helicopter for aerial assessment; the helicopter effectively assisted the fire force and gave directions to them. 12 firefighting vehicles were used and the situation was brought under control.
Karnataka Chief Minister, HD Kumarswamy, instructed the police and the fire officials to take immediate action. Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Union Statistics Minister, Sadananda Gowda, asked people to be safe. The Ministry of Defence stated that court of inquiry will be formed to probe the cause of the fire incident.