Electric Scooter Fire Ignites Showroom, Kills 8 in Deadliest Incident Yet


A sudden fire Monday engulfed an electric scooter dealer’s showroom in Mumbai, India, killing at least eight people and injuring 11 more, police told reporters.

The incident is the deadliest so far in a nation that has seen a sudden uptick in similar fires over the last year, alarming the government, according to Reuters.

Rishika Sadam, special correspondent for ThePrint, posted a video to Twitter alleged to be from closed-circuit television that captured the fire starting.

Reuters reported that early investigations found “faulty battery cells and battery modules among the main causes” of similar recent fires.

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Video and pictures of similar incidents have appeared on Twitter dating back to at least December 2021.

Monday’s fire started in a hotel basement that housed the showroom, which contained about 24 electric scooters in Secunderabad, police told Reuters.

The fire was brought under control and an investigation was underway, they said. Most of the casualties in the blaze were hotel guests in the building, which was choked with smoke.

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“There were electric scooters parked where the fire started,” city police official Chandana Deepti told the international news service.

“We don’t know if it started because of overcharging and then spread or whether it started elsewhere. That is still being established.”

The make and model of the scooters that burned was not released.

C.V. Anand, the police chief of nearby Hyderabad, told ANI, a Reuters partner, “Those staying on the first and second floors were overpowered by smoke and the maximum casualties are from those floors.”

A federal investigation was launched in March by the Indian government following public concerns over the string of e-scooter fires, according to Reuters.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “Saddened by the loss of lives due to a fire in Secunderabad, Telangana. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Rs 2 lakh from PMNRF would be paid to the next of kin of each deceased; Rs. 50,000 for the injured.”

The Indian government has reportedly pushed for e-scooters and e-bikes to compose 80 percent of all two-wheeled vehicle sales by 2030, in a move similar to California’s recent regulatory change to push electric vehicle sales.

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