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Cinema fire one of the worst in Indian history

The Upahar cinema blaze is one of the worst fire tragedies in recent Indian history.

The two major fires before this were the Dabwali (Haryana) inferno which claimed the lives of about 450 people, mostly children, on December 22, 1995, and the Baripada (Orissa) blaze on February 22 this year that resulted in the deaths of more than 200 devotees.

Just last week, on June 7, 39 people were killed at the Brahadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur.

In the Dabwali incident -- the country's worst fire -- at least 452 children, their parents and teachers were burnt alive when the annual day of the DAV school was being celebrated in Dabwali in Haryana's Sirsa district.

About 200 devotees were charred to death and as many injured in a blaze that swept through a religious congregation in the north Orissa town of Baripada, 300 km from Bhubaneswar. Over 10,000 people were present at the 46th three-day conference of Swami Nigamananda when the incident took place.

The lack of sufficient exit points was the reason for the high death toll; both incidents were caused by short circuits.

Most of the deaths in last week's Thanjavur fire were caused by a stampede.

Nineteen people were killed when a fire broke out in the crowded Khari Baoli area of the capital following a suspected short-circuit in a Delhi Electric Supply Undertaking transformer. The death toll in Khari Baoli was the worst the capital had witnessed in the last two years before Friday's incident.

Eight children and one woman were burnt to death in the fire that broke out in a cluster of jhuggis in the new Seemapuri area of north-east Delhi on May 20, 1995. At least 75 hutments were gutted in the fire that took the fire brigade about half an hour to control.

Another seven people were killed on June 4 the same year when a fire engulfed a two-story building at Shastri park in east Delhi. All the victims died of asphyxiation.

A major fire destroyed the Airbus departure terminal at Delhi airport early on October 29, 1996, suspending services at both the domestic and international airports for more than three hours and delaying scores of flgihts.

A devastating fire cut a swathe of destruction through the 22nd Calcutta book fair on February 2, destroying all but 40 stalls and leaving oneperson dead.

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