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17 killed in fire in Bawana industrial area; Delhi govt orders probe

Fire broke out in three separate places in Delhi's Bawana industrial area on Saturday claiming at least 17 lives and leaving many injured.

17 killed in fire in Bawana industrial area; Delhi govt orders probe
PTI photo

NEW DELHI: At least 17 people are feared to be dead after a fire broke out in three separate places in Bawana industrial area, Delhi on Saturday. Plastic factory, cracker storage and furnace oil storage in sectors 1, 5 and 3 in the area were gutted in the flames. 

All the casualties are said to have been reported from the cracker storage factory, from where the blaze is believed to have started. No casualty was reported from the other two sectors. The police have so far confirmed nine deaths in the fire.

"We received three calls from Bawana - Sector 1 a plastic factory, 2nd from Sector 5 a cracker storage and Sector 3 a furnace oil storage. All casualties are from Sector 5 fire. Fire is completely under control now. We have so far recovered 17 bodies," ANI quoted the Director of Delhi Fire Services GC Mishra saying.

A Delhi Fire Services officer said as many as 30 persons, including some women, have reportedly sustained burn injuries adding that many are still believed to be trapped inside the structure. "Rescue operation is underway," the officer said. The number of casualties is likely to rise further.

The officer said the fire in Bawana industrial area was reported to the control room around 6.20 p.m., following which 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The fire was doused after three hours.

"Police, as well as fire brigade and ambulances, were rushed to F-83 in sector 5 of Bawana area. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained," Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajneesh Gupta said.

One of the men who jumped from the second floor of the building in a bid to save himself later succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. The victims were trapped in the basement, first and second floor when the fire spread from the basement to the floors above, the officer said.

According to the official, there is a rubber factory on the second storey of the firecracker factory. An official said that the factory comes under the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) area. North Delhi mayor Preety Agarwal has rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.

Union Health Minister JP Nadda directed the Health Secretary to provide immediate assistance to victims of Bawana fire tragedy and also asked AIIMS trauma centre to be on alert. 

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has ordered an inquiry into the fire incident. Expressing his grief on the large number of casualty in the tragedy, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "V sad to hear abt large no of casualties. Keeping a close watch on rescue operations."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too paid his condolence to bereaved families. "Deeply anguished by the fire at a factory in Bawana. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. May those who are injured recover quickly," the Office of Prime Minister of India tweeted. 

Delhi Urban Development minister Satyendar Jain said an inquiry has been ordered into the incident. "Learnt about a serious fire incident in a private factory at Bawana. Several casualties reported. Monitoring the situation. Ordered enquiry," Jain tweeted

There has been a significant number of fire-related incidents in recent time. 

On December 28, at least 14 people, 11 of them young women in their twenties and thirties out, had lost their lives after a deadly fire ripped through two upscale restaurants in Mumbai. The bodies of victims, who died due to suffocation, were found piled up in the toilet area where they had hoped to escape from the fire.

Barely days later, on January 8, another huge fire broke out at a bar-cum-restaurant in Bengaluru's Kalasipalya area that claimed lives of at least eight people. The five people who died were employees at the restaurant and were sleeping inside when the blaze started.

On January 6, another massive fire took place at Mumbai's Cinevista studio. Fortunately, no casualty was reported in this incident. The shooting of two TV serials Bepanaah and Haasil was going on when the fire broke out. More than 150 crew members were evacuated from the spot.