Mundka fire tragedy: Family members await identification of victims
New Delhi: Standing outside a city hospital here on Saturday, Ludhiana resident Aman Kumar broke down while talking about his fiancee, who was among the several people killed in a massive fire in Delhi's Mundka.
Grieving relatives gathered at the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital at Mangolpuri as many of them awaited identification of charred bodies of their kin.
The fire started from the first floor of the four-storey commercial building that houses the office of a CCTV cameras and router manufacturing and assembling company, police earlier said, adding more than 30 fire tenders were pressed into service.
"I was supposed to marry her in November this year," thirty-year-old Kumar said in a choked voice as tears rolled down his cheeks when asked if a family member was admitted to the hospital.
His relative Jatin said Kumar's fiancee, Drishti, died in the tragedy but her body is yet to be identified.
"She used to work in the building in Mundka. We got to know about the incident yesterday about 5.30 pm and rushed to Delhi from Ludhiana. She didn't survive," he said.
The whole family is in a state of shock, Jatin said.
Seventeen-year-old Kavita, a resident of Madanpur village, was anxiously looking for her sister who was inside the building when the blaze ripped through it.
"My sister was at work when we got to know about the fire around 4.30 pm. I was told that the building was on fire and my sister might be trapped inside. After coming here (hospital) I found that my sister's name was not there in the list of people admitted to the emergency section," she said.
"I am hoping that she may have survived," she added.
Kavita's cousin, Pankaj Kumar, said their sister worked in the CCTV manufacturing unit in the building and was the only earning member in the family.
"Her father has mental health issues and the family was dependent on her income. We've been asked to give details about the clothes she was wearing yesterday in case she is among the charred bodies retrieved from the site," he said.
In the videos that emerged on social media on Friday, thick plumes of smoke billowed from top of the building as people trapped inside could be heard crying for help while some jumped down in a desperate attempt to escape the flames.
Some could be seen using ropes to escape while local residents too came forward to help.
The police on Friday said at least 27 people were killed and 12 injured in the incident. They did not, however, specify other details like the gender or age of the deceased.
According to the fire department, the death toll could rise to 30 as some charred remains were found in the building during cooling operations in the morning.
Delhi Fire Service Director Atul Garg said it was difficult to identify whether the remains were of one person or multiple persons. Out of 27 deceased, seven have been identified, police said.
They said the four-storey building, which did not have a fire safety certificate, had a single entry and exit point which could have been the reason for the high number of casualties.
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