Nearly 300 vehicles have been destroyed in a big fire at the parking lot of the venue of the air show in Bengaluru this afternoon. Officials say the cause of the fire could be a lit cigarette that was disposed on the grass in the open field.
Huge plumes of thick black smoke could be seen in the sky near the Yelahanka air base in north Bengaluru, where about a hundred aircraft are parked for the biennial Aero India 2019 event.
Senior police officer MN Reddi said the fire spread rapidly due to dry grass and strong winds. Hundreds of vehicles, including two-wheelers and cars, were seen parked in files in the open ground, surrounded by fire.
The fire has been brought under control and no injuries have been reported.
"Fire in the open field parking lot of aero show. Nearly 20 cars burnt. Fire fighting operations by Chief Fire Officer and 10 water tenders staff under way (sic)," Mr Reddi tweeted.
No planes have reportedly taken off from the airbase in the last one hour. Sources say they will fly once the fire is completely doused.
Today's incident comes less than a week after two jets of the Indian Air Force's Suryakiran Aerobatic Team crashed after a mid-air collision over the air base. One of the three pilots in the crash had died.
The five-day air show started on Wednesday and will conclude tomorrow.