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India witnessed an average 59 deaths per day due to Fire Accidents between 2001 and 2014


Between 2001 and 2014, close to 3 lakh deaths were reported because of fire accidents in India, an average of 59 deaths a day. Maharashtra alone accounted for 24% of all the deaths.


More than 20 people lost their lives in a hospital fire in Odisha. As per preliminary reports, an electrical short circuit is believed to be the cause of the accident. The data on fire accidents in India reveals that close to 3 lakh people lost their lives in fire accidents between 2001 and 2014, averaging to 59 deaths a day.

More than 3 lakh fire accidents between 2001 & 2014

The data on fire accidents is maintained by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The data is reported in NCRB’s yearly publication, ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India’. In the NCRB report, fire accidents are categorized under the following sub heads

  • Electrical Short Circuit
  • Riot/Agitation
  • Fireworks
  • Cooking Gas Cylinder/Stove Burst
  • Other Causes

Bulk of the cases reported every year are under the other causes category. Between 2001 and 2014, a total of 3.16 lakh fire accident cases were reported in the country. More than 20000 cases were reported in 12 of the 14 years. The highest number of cases were reported in 2011 (26343). The number of cases reported witnessed a mixed trend in the last 14 years. The number of cases saw a decline from 2001 to 2004 only to increase continuously from 2004. This increasing trend continued till 2011 only to be followed by a decreasing trend till 2014.


An average of 59 deaths per day in the last 14 years

Close to 3 lakh people lost their lives in fire accidents between 2001 and 2014, an average of 59 deaths per day. The trend in the number of deaths more or less followed the trend in the number of such fire accident cases. The most number of deaths were reported in 2011 (24576) while the least number were reported in 2004 (18445).


24% of all the deaths reported from Maharashtra alone

Of the States/UTs, Maharashtra reported the highest number of cases and deaths between 2001 and 2014. Maharashtra reported more than 84000 cases and 71730 deaths in the 14-year period. This is 24% of all the deaths reported in the country. Madhya Pradesh was second in the list reporting less than half the number of deaths as Maharashtra. Nine (9) states reported more than 10000 deaths in the 14-year period while six (6) states reported more than 20000 deaths. Fifteen (15) States/UTs reported less than 1000 deaths in the 14-year period. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh & Gujarat together accounted for 46% of all the reported deaths.


Featured Image: Hans India




About Author

Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.


  1. Facts & figures should be ultimately useful for evolving appropriate action plans. Otherwise, they serve little purpose. The NCRB data in this sense miserably fails to help.
    1. For example, what are the Seasonal Variations? Does festival season contribute to peaking of fire accidents as happened in Kerala at temple celebration earlier this year and at Sivakasi a few days back?
    2. Why is Maharashtra’s share so alarmingly high? Is it the most urbanised state in the country with highest concentration of slums/shanties, where intensity of fatality in fire accidents would be high? Note, except MP, the other 3 states following Maharashtra are Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra & Karnataka that are considered more industrialised and better administered.
    3. The per capita {or per million} figures of death due to fire incidents would shed more light & alter the UT/State ranks considerably. Urbanised areas may rise to the top.

    Many more such observations could be added, but this is suffice to show inadequacy “data” as collected, presented or analysed.

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