Three Bangladeshi tourists charred to death in Dal Lake blaze

SRINAGAR — Three tourists from Bangladesh were charred to death in a major blaze in a houseboat on the famous Dal Lake on in Srinagar on Saturday,

The bodies were retrieved from the debris of the gutted houseboats near ghat nine on the lake.

The three tourists who lost their lives have been identified as Anindaya Kowshal, Mohammad Moinud and Das Gupta — all from Bangladesh.

They were staying on the houseboat Safeena, which was gutted in the blaze.

Eight people were rescued through collaborative efforts of the Srinagar Police, State Disaster Response Force, Tourist Police, Fire and Emergency Services, and locals

Police said an investigation into the incident has been initiated and a report filed at RM Bagh police station.

The police spokesman said, “The conflagration quickly spread and engulfed five houseboats — Safeena, Sabreena, Young Gulshan, Lala Rukh and Khar Palace. Seven residential huts and neighbouring houses in the vicinity were also gutted in the blaze.”

The cause of the fire, which engulfed five houseboats and as many huts attached to those, was not immediately known, the officials said.

They said preliminary investigations suggested that the fire broke out in one of the houseboats in the early hours due to malfunctioning of a heating appliance.

The officials said DNA samples were taken from the victims to establish their identities. The bodies will be handed over to the family members only after matching the DNA, the officials said.

This was the second major fire incident involving houseboats that are anchored on the Dal and the Nigeen lakes. In April 2022, seven houseboats were gutted in a devastating fire on Nigeen Lake on the outskirts of the Srinagar city. — (PTI)