Press Trust of india

MoRTH orders preliminary enquiry into Secunderabad e-bike showroom fire

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New Delhi:  The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has ordered a preliminary enquiry into the fire incident at an electric bike showroom in Secunderabad area of Hyderabad, a senior government official said.

Eight people, including a woman, staying in a hotel were killed in a midnight fire that originated from an electric bike showroom located below, in Secunderabad area.

“Two experts are visiting (electric-bike showroom in Secunderabad) after the police submits preliminary finding,” the official said.

Ten others were injured and rushed to various hospitals, police said on Monday. Most of the victims were asphyxiated.

The fire and smoke from the showroom engulfed Hotel Ruby Pride situated above the showroom killing the victims

Concerned over cases of fire incidents involving electric two-wheelers, the road transport ministry recently introduced additional safety provisions in the battery safety standards which will come into effect from October 1.

The amendments include additional safety requirements related to battery cells, on-board charger, design of battery pack, and thermal propagation due to internal cell short circuit leading to fire.

In April this year, cases of electric two-wheelers of manufacturers such as Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech and PureEV catching fire were reported. It prompted the government to form a panel to examine.

The MoRTH  had constituted an expert committee, chaired by ARCl Hyderabad director Tata Narsingh Rao, Centre for Fire, Explosive & Environment Safety (CFEES) scientist  M K Jain,  Indian Institute of Science principal research scientist Subba Reddy and IIT Madras professor Devendra Jalihal as members to recommend additional safety requirements in the existing battery safety standards notified under CMV Rules.

Taking the EV fire accidents into consideration, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari in April warned companies of penalties if they were found to be negligent and said they would be ordered to recall the defective vehicles.

Subsequently, Ola Electric recalled 1,441 units of its electric two-wheelers. Okinawa also announced its recall of 3,215 units of its Praise Pro electric scooter to fix any issue related to batteries. Similarly, Pure EV recalled 2,000 units of its ETrance+ and EPluto 7G models.

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