At least 27 people were killed and 12 injured as a massive blaze ripped through a four-storey building in outer Delhi’s Mundka on Friday, police said.
The fire started on the first floor that houses the office of CCTV cameras and router manufacturing and assembling company, they said, adding more than 30 fire tenders were pressed into service. The owners of the company — Harish Goel and Varun Goel — have been detained, police said, adding the building owner has been identified as Manish Lakra.
They said Lakra lives on the top floor, and an FIR is being registered against him under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
The Delhi Fire Service deployed cranes to rescue those trapped in the blaze. However, smoke from the fire spread to the entire building and some people jumped off through the windows to save themselves, while some others used ropes to climb down, with police saying a few of them got injured in the process.
The police said at least 27 people were killed and 12 injured in the fire incident. They did not, however, specify other details like the gender or the age of the deceased.
Delhi chief fire service officer Atul Garg said no firefighter was injured in the operation. A crime branch team had also reached the spot, he said. According to the police, a call about the fire was received at 4.45 pm following which they immediately reached the building location, near metro pillar number 545.
Police officials broke the windows of the building to rescue people, they said, adding the injured are admitted to Sanjay Gandhi Hospital. During the initial inquiry, the police found that the four-storey building was used for providing office spaces to companies.
Over 50 employees of the company whose office was located on the first floor were rescued while 27 bodies have been found, they said.
Some ambulances were also made available at the spot to provide immediate medical assistance to the rescued victims. There are also traffic jams in the area due to the fire. The blaze was “doused” around 11 pm, but cooling operations were underway, a senior fire department official said.
President Ram Nath Kovind and several political leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi expressed grief at the loss of lives in the incident.
PM Modi also announced Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to be given to the next of kin of those who lost their lives, and Rs 50,000 to the injured. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain visited the spot and took stock of the rescue operations.