Millennium Post

22 years since Uphaar, it's deja vu for Capital

‘There was no fire exit & other safety norms were flouted’

22 years since Uphaar, its deja vu for Capital

New Delhi: Twenty-two years ago on June 13, 1997, Green Park's Uphaar Cinema became the spot for the national Capital's worst fire tragedy that witnessed 59 deaths. Twenty-two years later, on Sunday morning, another massive fire broke out in a factory of a crowded market in North Delhi's Rani Jhansi Road area killing 43 so far, making it Delhi's third-worst fire incident since Uphaar.

While 59 people died being trapped inside, mostly due to suffocation at Uphaar and as many as 103 injured, in Delhi's Anaj Mandi fire tragedy, at least 43 are killed and dozens injured.

There was an oil leakage at the Uphaar site and the fire spilt over to the parking bay gutting 27 cars that were parked there. Thankfully, on Sunday, the fire wasn't allowed to spread to the surrounding areas.

While the national Capital's worst fire incident broke out in the afternoon while screening of the movie Border, between 3 pm and 6 pm; very few know the trigger of it started in the morning on that fateful day at 6.55 am when a transformer on the ground floor of the Uphaar Cinema caught fire.

On Sunday, the fire broke out early in the morning, between 4.30 am and 5 am at Anaj Mandi area.

Calling it the biggest ever fire tragedy in the history of Delhi after Uphaar Cinema, a Delhi Fire Service (DFS) officer, requesting anonymity, said the factory had flouted all norms and "these fire incidents reflect failure of the system as agencies have hardly taken measures to ensure safety and security of the premises."

"The factory is being run in the area for a long time but there was a lack of fire exit and other fire safety norms. Had the fire alarms been set up in the factory and a proper exit existed, the deaths could have been averted," he added.

Anup Verma

Anup Verma

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