The bodies of 27 people were ‘burned beyond recognition’ in a massive fire at an Indian amusement park, relatives said.

RAJKOT, India (AP) — Giriraj Singh She waited for hours on Sunday to recover her nephew’s body but was told to go home as the remains were “burnt beyond recognition”.

“The bodies were unidentifiable and the authorities asked me to wait for the DNA test,” Singh, a retired army officer, told The Associated Press.

His 24-year-old son-in-law was with three friends when a massive fire broke out at an amusement park in western Rajkot city on Saturday. IndiaAt least 27 people, including children, were killed in the state over the weekend, which coincided with the summer vacation of schools.

Local police officer Raju Bhargav said that while owner Yuvraj Singh Solanki was in the process of buying some fire extinguishers and installing a water fire suppression system, he ran the two-storey premises without permission from the fire department. Solanki and the park manager have been arrested and charged with “negligence leading to death,” he said.

The ground floor of the park had a reception area, while the first floor had bowling, go-karting and trampoline areas.

Panicked onlookers ran for safety, but narrow gates at the park prevented a quick escape, The Indian Express newspaper reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Bargaw said there was some construction work going on and a spark from a welding machine might have ignited the fire. He said rescue operations have been completed and teams are now clearing the debris.

Relatives said doctors advised them not to go home until Sunday because DNA tests could take 48 hours to identify the remains.

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The state’s top elected official, Bhupendra Patel, visited the site of the fire and the hospital where some of the injured were receiving treatment. Bhargav, the police officer, said the three were hospitalized with smoke inhalation and burns, but not life-threatening.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi X posted that he was “deeply saddened by the fire … My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones. Prayers for those injured.”

Fire accidents are common in India, where builders and occupants often flout building laws and safety codes. Activists say builders often cut security to save money and accuse civic officials of negligence and apathy.

In 2019, a fire caused by an electrical leak engulfed a building in the Indian capital, killing 43 people. In 2022, a fire broke out in a four-storey commercial building in New Delhi, killing at least 27 people.

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