India games arcade fire kills 27, officials say

At least 27 people have died in a “massive fire” at a games arcade in India, local officials say.

Flames and a huge pall of smoke could be seen rising into the sky at the building in Rajkot, in the western state of Gujarat.

"The bodies are charred beyond recognition and hence their identification will be difficult," senior police officer Radhika Bharai told reporters after providing the updated death toll.

There are fears more victims may still be trapped under the wreckage.

Earlier, Rajkot Police Commissioner Raju Bhargava told BBC Gujarati 24 people had died. Several victims are reported to be children.

The blaze broke out on Saturday afternoon when the arcade was packed with children and young people. It has been brought under control, authorities say.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said a “special investigation team” had been assigned.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he was “extremely distressed” by the fire in Rajkot and said his thoughts were with those who had lost loved ones.

A view shows a burned gaming zone after a fire, in Rajkot, India
The games arcade was engulfed in a 'massive fire' [Reuters]
Firefighters try to extinguish a fire which broke out at an amusement park facility in Rajkot, in India's Gujarat state on May 25, 2024
[Getty Images]