Uphaar Cinema Tragedy

Uphaar cinema fire tragedy

It was just an ordinary evening one day in Delhi way back in 1997 when people went to their local cinema to catch the latest blockbuster. But ordinary soon turned into tragedy as a fire that started in the parking lot engulfed the cinema building itself.

Fire exits had been blocked and building safety norms were not followed by the owners of the cinema. As the fire struck, in the ensuing panic 59 men, women and children (some as young as 4 and 6 years old) lost their lives.

Eighteen years later and following an epic battle through the Indian legal system a verdict was passed by the Supreme Court that the owners of the building will not serve a prison sentence and will instead pay a fine of Rs60 crore (approx £60 million), overturning the ruling of all lower courts that the owners should serve at least a year in prison. Heartbroken families have been conveying their utter disbelief and betrayal at being denied justice for the loss of their loved ones.

Uphaar cinema fire tragedy 2

I’m writing this article not to judge, but simply to keep the story alive. Sadly in India this is not the only incident of tragedy in a cinema hall due to disregard of health and safety issues. The families of the victims had wanted the court to hand out a sentence that would set a precendent to prevent similar tragedies in the future. The families feel that the verdict demonstrates that justice can be bought by the wealthy.


One Comment to “Uphaar Cinema Tragedy”

  1. Very sad incident that reeks of apathy.

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