Delhi Fire Tragedy: Death toll rises to 27 in Mundka blaze

New Delhi: As many as 27 people were killed in a major fire that broke out in a three-storey building in the Mundka area of the national capital on Friday afternoon.

“So far 27 bodies have been recovered from the building and the operation is still going on,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain, who visited the ill-fated building, told media persons.

“Over 50 employees and workers have been reportedly evacuated, while rescue teams have so far recovered 26 dead bodies,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, Sameer Sharma, said, adding that several people have sustained injuries.

Delhi Fire Service chief Atul Garg told IANS that they received a call about the incident at 4 p.m. from a building located near Pillar No. 544 in Mundka in west Delhi, after which 10 fire engines were immediately pressed into service.

As per visuals released from the spot, thick fumes of black smoke along with a massive blaze could be seen billowing out of the ill-fated three-storey building. The firemen used the fire truck ladder to reach out to the maximum possible height to spray water over the blaze.

The inferno is yet to be brought under complete control at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, DCP Sharma said that they also received a call about the incident at 4.45 p.m. following which the local police rushed to the spot.

“Police officers broke the windows of the building and rescued many inmates who were rushed to the hospital,” Sharma said.

All the injured have been admitted to the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in west Delhi.

Another Fire Department officer present at the spot said that currently, the capacity of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital is full, and if more injured persons are found, they will be shifted to the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital.

The police have detained the owners of the company, identified as Harish Goel and Varun Goel, and their antecedents are being examined. The rescue operation is still going on.

Based on preliminary inquiry, the police said that it was a three-storey commercial building used for providing office space to companies. The fire first broke out on the first floor of the building which houses a CCTV and router manufacturing company. The police have detained the owner of the company, identified and his antecedents are being examined.

In a rescue operation video accessed by IANS, the people could be seen coming out from a window with the help of a rope and ladder that was placed atop a truck to reach the height of the window.

A fire department official said in a bid to save themselves, some people jumped off the building when the fire broke out, and got injured. They were then immediately shifted to Sanjay Gandhi hospital. Locals said that around 150 people used to work in this building.

As per the latest reports, the operation is still underway and 27 fire tenders are on the spot.

“The fire has been brought under control but the cooling process is still going on,” a fire department official told IANS.

The fire first broke out on the first floor of the building which houses a CCTV and router manufacturing company.

There is a possibility that more bodies could be there on the second and third floor of the building.

The fire was so massive that even walls inside the building collapsed which made the rescue operation more difficult.

Earlier, Union Home Minister Amit Shah while expressing grief over the incident said that in constant touch with the concerned officials and the administration is engaged in relief and rescue work. “Our priority is to evacuate people and provide immediate treatment to the injured,” he said.

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