NEW DELHI: Some two and half years ago a massive fire had broken out in Anaj Mandi in Old Delhi which had gobbled 43 lives and then another fire in Arpit hotel in Karol Bagh had claimed 17 lives in 2019.
Almost the same story was repeated when a warehouse was situated between Mundka Metro Station and Mundka Industrial area on Friday.
It should rank as one of the worst fire tragedies in the national capital as 27 innocent lives were lost while 29 are still missing even after the fire was brought under control by the firefighters. At Least 50 people have been rescued from the building, till now.
Out of the 27 dead, only two bodies have been identified. Most of the bodies were charred beyond recognition. Authorities say they will go for DNA fingerprinting to identify the dead and also settle the ex-gratia announced by the Centre and the Delhi Government as well.
Delhi Fire department received a call around 4.40 pm about this blaze near pillar number 544 of Mundka metro station. Twenty four fire tenders went to the location and rescue operations were kicked off soon after the blaze was reported on Friday evening.
The fire reportedly broke out on the first floor of the building that housed the office of a firm that manufactured CCTV cameras and Wi-Fi routers, officials said.
Sunita was crying in the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital as she was worried about her daughter. Talking to The New Indian, Sunita said, “We had only our daughter to earn and now she is missing from this incident”. “The company used to submit their mobile phones and we spoke to her last in the morning when she went to the office,” she added.
Two owners of the firm – Harish Goel and Varun Goel – were arrested late last night.
Surprisingly, the building does not fire NOC from the fire department. DCP Sameer Sharma (outer district) said, “The building did not have a fire NOC. The owner of the building has been identified as Manish Lakra who lived on the top floor. Lakra is currently missing, teams are on the job and he will be arrested soon.”
Sonam and Savita are missing after the incident and their brothers have been searching for them since last evening. With heavy tears, one of the brothers said, “Now I will go and check the mortuary of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, what if God have another plan for them.”
Fire officials said that some of the bodies were so badly burnt that they can’t be recognized.
According to a preliminary probe, there was only one staircase in the first in the whole building and this was the main reason that people got trapped on the second floor and started to jump off from the window.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal reached the spot on Saturday and said that “guilty won’t be spared”. CM also ordered a magisterial enquiry and said that two brothers have been arrested so far.
There was a motivational speech event going on on the second floor of the building when the fire incident occurred and many people were attending the event.
One of the women who were attending the meeting said, “We were attending the event and then suddenly the electricity went off. When we went down to the lower floor then we came to know about the fire. We tried to escape but there was only one escape route from the building. So we all got trapped and there were around 250-300 people on the floor”.
Tanya is still missing and her mother has been waiting for her for the last 8 hours. “My daughter saved 5 to 6 people and when I talked to her on call at 5 PM then she was helping others and while doing this she lost herself and is still missing,” a worried mother said.
The victims of this incident were admitted to Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital near Mangolpuri on the evening of the incident. Sirens from ambulances and loud anguish can be heard in the hospital as people are trying to find their missing family members.