‘Need immediate steps to…’: Delhi LG on Mundka fire tragedy

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Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan, New Delhi

Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) Anil Baijal on Saturday called for “immediate steps” to ensure there is no repetition of yesterday’s deadly fire in Mundka in the western part of the national capital. Baijal said he was left “deeply pained by the tragic fire incident” in which at least 27 have died. “Despite best rescue efforts many precious lives were lost. My deepest condolences to the bereaved families and prayers for speedy recovery of those injured,” he tweeted. He said that as details are uncovered, measures should be taken immediately by “all concerned to ensure such incidents do not recur”.

The fire broke out on Friday in a three-storied building near Delhi’s Mundka metro station. Delhi Fire Services (DFS) chief Atul Garg said they received a call at 4.40pm and 10 fire engines were initially deployed. A further 14 were rushed later to help bring the massive blaze under control.

The fire broke out on the first floor of the building, which is the office for a company that manufactures CCTV cameras and routers. Owners Harish and Varun Goel have been arrested, a Delhi Police spokesperson said.

Also Read | Delhi Mundka fire: Heart-wrenching scenes as people tried escaping| Video

Garg said the building did not have a fire clearance or no objection certificate (NOC) and that the owner – Manish Lakra – is absconding. Deputy commissioner of police Sameer Sharma (Outer District), quoted by news agency ANI, said teams had been set up to track down Lakra.

At first only one body – a woman’s – was recovered. But as the fire was suppressed, the number of casualties increased; at last count 27 have died.

Over 70 people were also evacuated from the building, with the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) joining relief operations early this morning. At least 12 have sustained injuries and are being treated at the city’s Sanjay Gandhi Hospital. A total of 29 person – five men and 24 women – are missing, DCP Sharma said.

The fire was put out late Friday night after a six-hour battle.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has announced compensation of 2 lakh to the victims’ next of kin and 50,000 to injured persons. Delhi chief minster Arvind Kejriwal has announced 10 lakh for next of kin and 50,000 as compensation for the injured.


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