Five labourers were killed in a fire that broke out early on Thursday in a saree godown at Uruli Devachi, about 20 km from the Pune city, the authorities said.The incident occurred a little after 4 a. m., said fire brigade officials. They ascribed the cause of the blaze to a short circuit.Four of the deceased hailed from Rajasthan, while one was from Maharashtra’s Latur district, said the police.All of them were in their 20s. They have been identified as Rakesh Riyad (22), Rakesh Meghwal, Dharmaram Vadiyasar and Suraj Sharma, all aged 25 and belonging to Rajasthan, and Dheeraj Chandak (aged 23) from Latur.“The labourers died due to asphyxiation within minutes of the blaze. They were sleeping inside the 6,000 sq. ft. godown, which was locked from outside by the owners to preclude any theft. When we retrieved their bodies, some of them had been burnt,” said a police official.Fire brigade officials said five fire tenders were sent to the spot to combat the conflagration.“We received a call at the control room at 4.15 a. m., following which five fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot. In addition, eight to ten water tankers too were sent,” said a fire brigade official. The intensity of the blaze was such that it could be brought under control only after more than four hours of firefighting. The rescue team had to break into the godown through the rear windows, he said.December 2016 blaze In a similar incident in late December 2016, six sleeping labourers were charred to death at the ‘Bakes n Cakes’ bakery in Pune’s upmarket Kondhwa area.In that case too, the bakery was locked from outside, as a result of which the employees could not rush out when the fire broke out.
The semi-finals appearance in the women’s doubles event at the just concluded Wimbledon Championships on Monday catapulted Sania Mirza and Russia’s Elena Vesnina to number two slot in the WTA rankings.Sania-Elena pair has 4506 points in the list which is headed by Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik with 6865 points.”The partnership with Elena has been great in the last four months, specially the Slams.When we started playing together last year at Dubai, and had somebody said that we will be number two after Wimbledon, we would have laughed,” Sania told PTI from Dubai.Sania has taken a three-week break from the circuit to recover from her left knee injury.”It’s (knee) sore since I am off the pain killers. I am recovering.Hopefully it will be okay after 10 days rest.”Sania’s first tournament after the break will be the WTA event in Washington from July 25.The good show at the Wimbledon also resulted in Sania achieving the career-best doubles rank of 11, an improvement of three slots.In the singles though Sania slid to 63, a loss of three position, after a first round exit.Meanwhile in the ATP rankings, Somdev Devvarman rose to career-best 63 in the men’s singles.Leander Paes also improved his doubles rankings by getting back into the top-10.He is placed eighth while his partner Mahesh Bhupathi is highest ranked Indian in the list at number five.Rohan Bopanna is at number 10, just behind his Pakistani partner Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi.Wozniacki Stays On TopDenmark’s Caroline Wozniacki remains on top of the women’s singles rankings in spite of her failure to win a Grand Slam title.advertisementThe 20-year-old has now spent 38 weeks in the number one position but has only ever reached one Grand Slam final – the US Open in 2009 – and was knocked out in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Petra Kvitova’s reward for winning Wimbledon was a move up one place to seven in the world while Maria Sharapova edges up one place to number five. French Open champion Li Na slips two places to number six.The biggest mover in the women’s rankings was the German Sabine Lisicki, a wildcard entry at Wimbledon where she went on to lose to Sharapova in the semi- finals.Lisicki, who had reached 22 in the world before an ankle injury interrupted her progress last year, moved up from number 62 to 27.Somdev rises to career-best 63 in men’s singlesWith inputs from PTI