Delhi Anaj Mandi fire: Short circuit may have caused blaze that killed 43, factory owner absconding; says police

Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa said the exact cause of the fire is still unknown but prima facie it appears that the fire was caused due to a short circuit. 

Delhi Anaj Mandi fire: Short circuit may have caused blaze that killed 43, factory owner absconding; says police
Pic courtesy: IANS

Delhi Police on Sunday (December 8) confirmed that 43 people have died in the fire which broke out inside a building at Delhi's Anaj Mandi area at around 5:20 AM. Talking to ANI, Delhi Police PRO MS Randhawa said that the injured were admitted to LNJP and Lady Hardinge hospitals. He added that the exact cause of the fire is still unknown but prima facie it appears that the fire was caused due to a short circuit. According to Randhawa, plastic material at the spot caused a lot of smoke which may have led to the death of many people.

The case has been transferred to the Crime Branch and forensics team is set to reach the spot to collect evidence. "43 people dead, injured admitted to LNJP & Lady Hardinge hospitals. Prima facie it appears short circuit caused fire. Plastic material at the spot caused a lot of smoke. Case transferred to Crime Branch, forensics team to arrive at the spot soon," Randhawa told ANI. He added that two policemen and two fire officials have also got injured during the rescue operations.

Delhi Police DCP North Monika Bhardwaj said that a case has been registered under section 304 IPC against Rehan, the owner of the building. Bhardwaj added that Rehan is currently absconding.

Earlier on Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the spot of the tragic incident and ordered a magisterial inquiry into it. He also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to families who lost a member in the fire and additional assistance of Rs 1 lakh to those who were injured. The Delhi chief minister also went to the LNJP and Lady Hardinge hospitals where the rescued people are currently undergoing treatment.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakhs each from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for next of kin of those who have lost their lives in the incident. The prime minister has also approved Rs 50,000 each for those seriously injured in the fire.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari also visited the spot and expressed grief over the incident. The BJP MP announced that his party will give a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the deceased. 

Sources told Zee Media that over 60 people have been rescued by the fire fighting officials. 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." 

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has reached at the incident spot to help in the relief and rescue operations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express his condolence with the bereaved families. PM Modi said that his thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones in the fire accident. "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," he wrote on Twitter.