SRINAGAR: The absence of a lightning arrester at the revered shrine of Mir Syed Ali Hamdani in Srinagar could have led to the fire that engulfed its spire and dome on November 15.
The brass spire at the top of the shrine caught fire that night after it was hit by three bolts of back-to-back lightning, local residents and experts said.
Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Syed Abid Rashid Shah told Kashmir Reader that the spire caught fire because a lightning arrester was not installed on the dome.
Deputy Director Fire and Emergency department Mohammad Akbar Dar said the authorities should have installed a lightning arrester while installing the brass spire on the dome.
He said that brass was a good conductor of electricity and an arrester could have nullified the impact of lightning.
At around 300 feet from the ground, the height of the spire was another factor that made it vulnerable to lightning, he said.
The spire was installed at the shrine in 2015 after an earthquake damaged the previous one.
The centuries-old Sufi shrine in the heart of Srinagar caught fire at around 1 am on November 15 immediately after three flashes of lightning were seen hitting its dome. The flames were so intense that the entire area surrounding the shrine began to feel warm.
Deputy Commissioner Abid said that a lightning arrester would be installed within two months along with a new dome and spire.
“A team of experts is observing the construction. All the required preventive measures will be taken care of,” he said.