Millennium Post

Building that turned death trap was 'illegal'

Building that turned death trap was illegal

New Delhi: After a day of the massive fire engulfing a four-storey commercial building in Delhi's Mundka area, the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) claimed that the entire building was illegal.

DFS chief Atul Garg also said on Saturday that the authority of the owner of the building had no fire NOC and clearance from the MCD. 27 lives were snuffed out further. Hence, the Delhi Police registered a case under sections 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide), 120 (Concealing design to commit an offence punishable with impris­onment) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

The city police also nabbed two owners of the firm 'Cofe Impex Pvt Ltd' — Harish Goel and Varun Goel, whereas, the owner of the building, which did not have safety clearance from the fire department, is on the run, and has been identified as Manish Lakra, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Outer Delhi Sameer Sharma said.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation also sought a detailed report from Narela Zone authorities, including the type of area and tentative year of construction, of the building in Mundka. Meanwhile, forensic teams visited the spot to collect the evidence. NDRF and Civil Defense teams also conducted rescue operations. According to the eyewitnesses, the fire took place at around 4.30 pm on Friday, after which the locals tried to rescue the people trapped in the building. The Millennium Post reached out to locals and while speaking, 29-year-old Lalit Kumar, an eyewitness said, "We arranged 3-4 ladders and mounted them on the wall of the building to rescue the trapped people after 20-30 minutes

fire tenders rushed to spot and took over the rescue operation." He also added that people

were jumping down from the building to save their lives, and during this too many people were injured.

48-year-old Laxman Chand said, "It was very difficult for the women to come down with the help of the ladder as most of the women were wearing saree, due to which they were finding difficulties to come down and were compelled to jump from the floors". He also mentioned that the CCTV manufacturing unit was running on the first, second and third floors, the first floor was used for manufacturing, the second floor was used as the warehouse while on the third floor there was a setup of a testing lab. "At about 150-200 people were present in the building when the fire occurred, hence a large number of people are still missing," he added.

Reportedly, almost 27 people are still missing and their kin is looking for them. They are trying to reach all possible authorities to get a clue or an update that whether their relatives are still alive or being hospitalised. 42-year-old Komal was looking for her 22-year-old niece Monika, who was working in the company the last year, while she got married 3 weeks back on April 22. Another 26-year-old Naseem was looking for his wife Asiya who is still missing. With tears in his eyes, Naseem said, "We both were working in the company but I quit the job a couple of weeks back but Asiya was still working in the same company. However, we were only getting Rs 6,500."

Meanwhile, police confirmed conducting DNA tests for identifying the burnt bodies. DCP Sharma mentioned, "We will also conduct a DNA identification test in case we are not able to ascertain the identity of some of the victims, whose charred bodies were recovered. We have also prepared a list of 29 missing persons, including 24 women, who went missing after the incident."

Punjabi Bagh SDM Gurpreet Singh confirmed that a total of eight dead bodies have been identified. The bodies have been handed over to the families after the post-mortem.

Reportedly, the single entry-exit point could also be the reason for claiming the lives due to the fire incident. Meanwhile, the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital here has also set up a help desk where people injured in the fire incident at Mundka have been admitted.

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