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Family cuts grill; helps NDRF rescue two trapped workers

Family cuts grill; helps NDRF rescue two trapped workers

New Delhi: "We woke up to smoke in our rooms sometime between 4:45-5:15 am and started coughing," Shakeel Ahmed (55) said. "Then we started hearing the screams from the factory building stuck to our house and decided we must go to the terrace to see what we can do," Ahmed continued. What he saw

was five windows of the factory building with at least nine workers asking for help to be pulled out of the billowing black smoke. "Help us! Help us!" is all that Ahmed heard and when he called fire services, they told him that they were already preparing to reach the spot.

By the time NDRF officials reached Ahmed's home to extract trapped workers from the back window of the factory building, youth from the neighbourhood had started arriving with grill cutters to help the people slowly suffocating to death. "For almost 45 mins, we stood on our terrace, looking at the workers trapped in the building, screaming for help," Ahmed said. He added that when two NDRF officials finally arrived, they managed to bring grill-cutting equipment with them and with the help of home ladders reached the factory building to rescue the workers.

"We somehow managed to help two workers out, who were brought out through the cut window. However, three others just fell back into the black smoke, all the while shouting for help. The NDRF officials went back in through the broken grill, but by then the rescue team had reached the inside of the factory and brought them out," Ahmed said, adding that the workers in the building were simply left without an option for escape.

Another resident, Mohammad Arif, living on the ground floor of Ahmed's home also helped with the rescue and described how they had to watch on while the trapped workers kept shouting until their voices were finally drowned out by the raging fire and the billowing smoke. Arif continued that the area

is extremely congested and prone to multiple health and safety risks.

Abhinay Lakshman

Abhinay Lakshman

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