At least 43 people were killed after a massive fire broke out in a factory in Delhi early this morning. Nearly 150 fire personnel carried out the rescue operation and pulled out 67 people from the building. A Fire Service official said 34 fire tenders were pressed into service. They said a call was received at 5.22 hours about the fire in Anaj Mandi on Rani Jhansi Road. The injured were admitted to LNJP, RML and Hindu Rao Hospitals in the national capital. Most of the rescued persons were affected by smoke.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police has arrested the owner and the manager of the factory after filing FIR against them. Earlier, talking to reporters, Delhi Police, PRO, M S Randhawa, said the case has been transferred to Delhi Crime Branch. He said prima facie, it appears that the incident took place due to A short circuit and people died of suffocation. He said two persons each of the Delhi Fire Service and Delhi Police were injured in the incident.
The Delhi Government has ordered a magisterial probe into the blaze. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the accident site-directed the District Magistrate of Central Delhi to submit a report within a week. Mr Kejriwal announced a compensation of ten lakh rupees each to the families of the dead and one lakh rupees each to the injured and free treatment.
Senior BJP leader and Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the BJP will extend financial support of five lakh rupees each to the families of those who have lost their lives. According to Delhi Fire Service Director, Atul Garg, the four-storey building in Anaj Mandi area of north Delhi where the blaze broke out, did not have a fire clearance.
This is the second massive fire incident in Delhi this year. Earlier in February, seventeen people were killed in a fire incident in Karol Bagh area. Today was a black Sunday not only for Delhites but also for the country. 43 innocent lives gone in minutes. Twenty-two years ago on Friday, June 13th, Uphaar Cinema, in Green Park area of Delhi, became the spot for the national capital’s worst fire tragedy, killing 59 people.
Today, it was meant to a relaxed Sunday for the labourers at Anaj Mandi, who were there in the factory. But they couldn’t see the daybreak. Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the site of the fire accident which was clogged with bystanders and politicians arriving in convoys. Firemen made their way through narrow lanes to rescue those trapped inside the blackened building and carried many unconscious labourers on their backs.
The NDRF says the building was filled with hazardous carbon monoxide and most workers died due to suffocation.