A massive fire engulfed a four-storey commercial building in Mundka in west Delhi on Friday, killing at least 27 people and leaving dozens injured. There were about 200 people in the building when the fire broke out and the toll is likely to go up.
High drama played out in the congested area as many people jumped from the building to save themselves. Fire officials managed to rescue dozens of people from the blaze after entering the building but the high casualties could not be prevented.
Highly combustible material and a narrow passage posed a huge challenge to the rescue operation and made escape from the inferno difficult. “The fire started on the first floor of the building which had an office of Cofe Impex Private Limited, a CCTV cameras and router manufacturing company,” said the DCP, Outer, Sameer Sharma. Police have filed an FIR and detained the company owners, Harish Goel and Varun Goel. A special investigation team has been constituted to probe the incident.
The Prime Minister’s Office tweeted late at night that Rs 2 lakh would be given from the PM’s National Relief Fund to the next of kin of each victim who died. The injured will receive Rs 50,000.
The fire broke out at the building located near pillar number 544 of the Mundka metro station around 4.30pm. The fire brigade and police were alerted around 4.40pm. The first fire tenders were caught in a traffic jam at Peeragarhi and got delayed.
“More than 30 fire tenders were pressed into service to control the blaze. Amublances were made available at the spot to provide immediate medical assistance to the rescued victims,” said the DCP.
Rescue teams broke through the windows of the building to reach the people inside and rushed the injured to hospital. Over a dozen people who were injured were admitted in Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital in Rohini and Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Mangolpuri. The firefighting operations continued past midnight with flames still leaping out of the third floor.