Friday , May 7 2021

Another avoidable tragedy: Fire in building with illegal units in heart of Delhi kills 43 – Times of India, The Times of India


TNN | Updated: Dec 9, (**************************************, 0: IST

Highlights

  • The building housed over a dozen illegal manufacturing units and warehouses being run from ill-ventilated rooms filled with combustible materials.
  • There was just one narrow entrance to the building spread across an area of ​​ square yards, which ensured that fire trucks and officials did not have proper access to the site.
  • NEW DELHI: In Delhi’s worst fire tragedy in 39 years, at least****************************** people were killed at Filmistan’s Anaj Mandi area in central Delhi early Sunday morning, when a blaze caused by a suspected short-circuit turned a five-storey building – where 100 – 304 workers were asleep – into agas chamber
    , choking most of the victims to death.
    It was a disaster waiting to happen. The building housed over a dozen illegal manufacturing units and warehouses being run from ill-ventilated rooms filled with combustible materials. There was just one narrow entrance to the building spread across an area of ​​728 square yards, which ensured that fire trucks and officials did not have proper access to the site.The fire is believed to have started on the second floor around 4. am and quickly spread through stacks of paper, cardboard, plastic and other items lying around. The units doubled up as residence for the laborers at night. Before many of them on the third and fourth floors could realize what was happening, they had passed out due tocarbon monoxide poisoning.Fire andDelhi Policeofficials said a total of 90 People were rescued from the building by firemen and sent to LNJP Hospital, Lady Hardinge and RML hospitals. Out of these, 50 died, 39 of them due to asphyxiation. Most of the workers were sleeping on the ground and first floors, and escaped without injuries.: Police Police said the owner of the building, Rehan, along with the manager, Furkaan, were arrested and a case under section (culpable homicidenot amounting to murder) registered. Monika Bhardwaj, deputy commissioner of police (north) said a major part of the building was owned by Rehan while two small portions on different floors were owned by two other people.“We are verifying the details. A case under section of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been registered at Sadar Bazaar police station. The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch, ”Bharadwaj said.The area of Anaj Mandi – with its congested bylanes and wires hanging low from each lane is notorious for fire incidents. Barely 39 hours before this fire broke out, the area had seen a similar fire in a building 90 meters away. No one was injured in that fire.Locals said the ******************** The same building which caught fire on Sunday also had another blaze in March this year, in which no one was injured. “We’ve seen the area change from a mandi to a locality that only houses illegal buildings that operate all through the night. We can hear people and machines working even at 3-4am, ”said Pushpa, a resident.Delhi chief ministerArvind Kejriwal, who visited the site and ordered a magisterial probe into the incident, announced a financial relief of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of each deceased and Rs 1 lakh to those injured. PMNarendra Modi, meanwhile, announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those who died, while Rs 52, will be provided to those who got injured.The fire department , which received a call only around 5. am, said the task of rescuing people was not only made difficult due to the narrow lanes, but also because the call was made late and after all efforts to douse the fire had failed. A total of 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, with the number eventually increasing to (**************************************************. However, only one fire truck could enter the narrow lane where this building existed, fire officials said.Yasmeen Begum, who lives at the rear of the factory, said, “Around 4. 50 am we heard people screaming ‘Koi toh bacha lo, nikal lo, koi toh maddat kar do’. I saw five-six people calling out for help through the iron-grilled roshan daan (ventilators). I was trying to look for ways to help them and at the same time was worried as the flames could have reached my house too. A thick blanket of smoke engulfed the area and I, along with my children, rushed to the terrace to save ourselves from choking. There are 14 rooms in the building I reside and some of us even threw water but the smoke was too much. Gradually, the screams faded, ”Yasmeen said.Sameer Siddiqui, Sameer Siddiqui, who would frequent the ground floor of the building for work said he received a call about the fire, but could not do much to help people. “We used the ground floor to store chairs. There was no damage on the ground floor, but there was no access to the building and we heard people were trapped upstairs. ”Atul Garg, Delhi’s chief fire officer, said the fire starting from the second floor. “It spread fast to the third and the fourth floors as the entire area was packed with combustible items ranging from plastic, toys and cardboard. There were no windows or any source of ventilation, making it difficult for the fire fighters to make their way in through the thick smoke. Only one window on the first floor could be opened, ”said Garg.He added that the building did not have a fire clearance certificate and no fire safety equipment was found installed in this premise. “There was an internal staircase connecting the two plots but it was blocked by goods and cartons leaving no room for anyone to escape,” said Garg.BSES officials, ****************** who also visited the site, said prima facie it appeared that the fire in the internal wiring system of the building. “Electricity meters on the ground floor are absolutely intact. The moment we got information about the fire, our team rushed to the site and the supply was disconnected immediately, ”said BSES in a statement.A majority of the laborers who died on Sunday hailed fromBihar. Several minors, some aged below 14 years, were among those killed. According to the LNJP hospital, at least three of the injured were in a critical condition.

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