Wednesday, January 29, 2020 | ePaper

Delhi's Anaj Mandi, gutted: 43 killed

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A relative of a victim of the blaze that swept through the factory where labourers were sleeping cries outside a hospital mortuary in New Delhi. Internet photo

India Today, New Delhi :
A massive fire broke out early morning in Delhi's Anaj Mandi area on Sunday in which at least 43 people have died so far. Rescue and fire department officials have rescued several people, many of whom are critical.
Delhi Police has confirmed the huge death toll in the early morning fire in Delhi. Over 56 people have been injured in the fire, according to the last figure. Over 30 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire and to carry out rescue operations.
Speaking to India Today TV, fire department officials said they received a call in the morning about a fire and had no information about people trapped in the burning building, which caused delay in the rescue operations.
Police said 59 people were inside the factory operating from a residential area when the blaze broke out.
Over 150 rescue officials were pressed in action who managed to pull out 63 people from the blazing building, reported PTI. The fire broke out on the second floor of the four-storey building.
Authorities from the LNJP hospital have confirmed many of the people who were brought to the hospital have died. Many of the rescued and injured have been rushed to RML Hospital,   Lady Hardinge and Hindu Rao Hospital.
Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the site of the fire incident with relatives and locals rushing to the area. Distraught relatives tried to locate their family members at various hospitals where the injured and dead were taken. Fire dept officials at the factory site that was engulfed in a huge fire on Sunday. (PTI)
Speaking to India Today TV outside the factory that caught fire, an elderly man whose three nephews were working in the factory broke down in tears and said, "At least 12-15 machines were installed in the unit. I have no idea about the factory owner. My nephews Mohammed Imran and Ikramuddin were inside the factory. I don't know their whereabouts." Sources said the building was packed with labourers who worked in different factories. Police have started looking for the owner of the building.
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, CM Arvind Kejriwal, BJP leaders Manoj Tiwari and Anurag Thakur have reached the site of the Anaj Mandi fire. Atul Garg, Chief Fire Officer, Delhi Fire Service said, "Till now we have rescued more than 50 people, most of them were affected due to smoke."
Many people were trapped inside the building when the fire broke out early morning. A call about the fire was received at 5:22 am following which 30 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, reported PTI.
Speaking to media, Deputy Fire Chief Officer Sunil Choudhary said, "A fire broke out in a 600 sq feet plot. It was very dark inside. It is a factory where school bags, bottles and other materials were kept."
Rescue operations are still on while the surrounding buildings in the area are being emptied.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the incident as "tragic" and said firemen were doing their best while Prime Minister Modi too expressed grief at the tragedy. PM Narendra Modi tweeted saying, "The fire in Delhi's Anaj Mandi on Rani Jhansi Road is extremely horrific. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. Wishing the injured a quick recovery. Authorities are providing all possible assistance at the site of the tragedy." Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi condoled the loss of lives in the fire accident. Meanwhile, the Delhi government has ordered a probe into the incident that has turned out to be one of the biggest fire accidents in the national capital.


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