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  Metros   Delhi  21 Jan 2018  17 killed in fire at cracker factory in Delhi's Bawana; owner arrested

17 killed in fire at cracker factory in Delhi's Bawana; owner arrested

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 21, 2018, 8:24 am IST
Updated : Jan 21, 2018, 12:35 pm IST

Police officials said people who were trapped inside the factory died of injuries and asphyxiation.

Fire-fighters and media outside the cracker factory which caught fire in north Delhi's Bawana Industrial Area. (Photo: PTI)
 Fire-fighters and media outside the cracker factory which caught fire in north Delhi's Bawana Industrial Area. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: The haunted memories of a massive fire tragedy which took place in June 1997 at Uphaar Cinema Hall in south Delhi were relived on Saturday when a massive fire broke out in a cracker factory in Delhi’s northwest Bawana Industrial Area.

As many as 17 people, including 10 women, were burnt to death. At least half a dozen people are trapped inside the building and rescue operations are on.

Preliminary reports also suggest that a few of the workers jumped to save themselves. One man jumped off the terrace, sustained fractures and is said to be critical. The Delhi Fire Services (DFS) official stated that the toll had risen as there was no window for the exit. The staircase was allegedly packed with cartons.  

Following the tragic incident, factory owner Manoj Jain was arrested by the Delhi Police. 

According to the fire department, the building did not adhere to the fire safety norms. The cracker factory was allegedly opened just 15 days ago and was not following any fire safety norms.

Fire officials stated that the blaze started from the basement and soon spread to three floors. It ripped through the building around 6.20 pm. The fire department received a call around 6.40 pm and 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known. Officials, however, suspected that short-circuit could have led to the blaze. Chief fire officer Atul Garg said that the control room was informed about the blaze at 6.20 pm. More people suspected to be trapped inside the factory.

“The fire was of category four which means it was not a big fire. However, explosions took place inside the factory that resulted in the casualties,” said Garg.

“All casualties are from Sector 5 fire. It is completely under control now. We have recovered 17 bodies so far,” said GC Mishra, director, Delhi Fire Services. Fifteen fire tenders managed to combat the fire by 8.57 pm, but rescue operations are still on, Mr Garg said.

Police officials said people who were trapped inside the factory died of injuries and asphyxiation.

Deputy commissioner of police, Rohini district, Rajneesh Gupta said, “The fire broke out in Bawana’s F-block. As many as 17 people have died in the tragedy and the initial reports confirm that 10 women were burnt to death while seven were men and a case had been registered under relevant sections of the IPC.”

Panic gripped the city soon after the news of the fire tragedy spread following which Delhi Cabinet minister Satyendar Jain took to Twitter, and wrote, “Learnt about a serious fire incident in a private factory at Bawana. Several casualties reported. Monitoring the situation. Ordered enquiry.”

The Delhi government has ordered an inquiry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish at the death of people in the fire.

“My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. May those who are injured recover quickly,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting Mr Modi.

The Delhi government ordered an inquiry into the blaze even as chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said he was keeping a “close watch” on the rescue operations. “V(ery) sad to hear abt large no of casualties. Keeping a close watch on rescue operations,” he said in a tweet.

Union health minister JP Nadda said that the AIIMS and the Safdarjung Hospital were ready to provide all assistance to people injured in a blaze at a firecracker storage unit in Delhi's Bawana area. The health ministry has also asked the hospitals to keep emergency services ready.

Tags: delhi fire, cracker factory, uphaar cinema hall, bawana industrial area
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi