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Kejriwal orders probe, announces Rs 10L relief for kin of dead

Kejriwal orders probe, announces Rs 10L relief for kin of dead

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for those who were injured in the Mundka blaze that has claimed at least 27 lives.

Kejriwal, along with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Home minister Satyendar Jain, visited the site to oversee rescue operations and announced that a magisterial inquiry had been ordered. He also met the families of the deceased and those who sustained injuries.

"I am deeply pained and anguished to see the tragedy that has transpired at this complex in Mundka. We are all trying to rescue as many people as possible. The fire was so devastating that it has become difficult to identify some bodies. We have set up a helpdesk at the site to aid those filing missing reports," he said.

The chief minister said that the bodies will be identified through FSL DNA testing.

"Even though no amount can make up for the loss of one's life, as a measure of support, the Delhi government will provide an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the families of all the deceased. At the same time, the injured will be provided with Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia," he said.

While announcing that the government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident, he said the government will pursue the strictest possible punishment for the culprits.

"The two main accused have been arrested. This is a horrific incident and the Delhi government will ensure that the culprits are brought to justice. Once the enquiry report comes, be it an individual, officer or agency, no culprit will be spared," he said.

Meanwhile, about 30 people could be dead from the inferno that tore through a building in Mundka and 29 are missing, officials said on Saturday, the hope that some people could still be alive in the smouldering embers of the fire that broke out the day before, ebbing by the hour.

Piecing together the events of Friday, when the blaze started on the first floor of the four-storeyed building in Outer Delhi around 4.45 pm before quickly spreading, Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg said there was only a single entry and exit point. It also did not have a fire safety certificate or fire-fighting equipment.

"The building had a single escape route which is why there were so many casualties. Twenty-seven people have died," Garg told reporters.

"The building also did not have a proper blueprint. Most of the bodies were found on the second floor."

Brothers Harish and Varun Goel, owners of a CCTV camera and router manufacturing and assembling company in whose office the fire is suspected to have started, have been arrested, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) Sameer Sharma said. Their father is missing.

The building's owner Manish Lakra will soon be arrested, police officials said. Around 29 people are unaccounted for, they added.

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