Kanpur : According to a senior official, at least 500 shops were destroyed in a large inferno that broke out in a multi-story commercial building and immediately spread to surrounding buildings in the Bansmandi area on early Friday. The fire appears to have started as a result of a short circuit caused by a large dust storm.

The fire began at 2 a.m. in AR Tower, also known as Afaq Rasool Tower, and spread to Maqsood, Humraz complex, and Nafees buildings, charring roughly 500 stores in these four towers, according to the official, who added that high winds fueled the flames.

According to a senior official, the fire destroyed commodities and cash worth around ₹ 100 crore.

Anand Prakash Tiwari, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), stated that many fire tenders were dispatched to the scene to extinguish the fire, which has yet to be extinguished.

Firefighters have been battled the incident for hours, according to JCP.

He stated an SOS call was issued to all neighbouring districts, including Kanpur Dehat, Unnao, Lucknow, and Kannauj, to deploy fire tenders to assist in the operation, and that firefighters had successfully kept the fire from spreading. The businesses in all four storeys have been burned, and commodities worth crores have been entirely destroyed, according to the JCP. The structure does not meet fire safety standards, stated another official.