No lessons learnt: Locked escape routes, no fire safety equipment
New Delhi: Locked escape routes, electricity meters fitted near the staircase, no fire safety equipment and no fire clearance from the Delhi Fire Service were the major negligence that were found at the factory which engulfed the lives of more than 40 labourers in North Delhi's Anaj Mandi area on Sunday.
Director of Delhi Fire Services (DFS) Atul Garg told Millennium Post that most of the people died owing to asphyxiation. "Three or four charred bodies were also recovered from the spot. The victims were sleeping at the time of the incident. They inhaled the smoke and died," informed Garg, adding that there was no fire safety equipment installed at the factory.
Leading Fireman (DFS) Sunil Kumar, was among the first rescuers who entered inside the factory. "The main gate of the factory was locked from outside. With the help of a lock cutter, we cut that lock and went inside," said Kumar, adding that later they found the gate of the other exit routes were blocked by heavy and combustible materials. "The victims were trapped inside and there was no chances of escape because of the blockage at the emergency exit routes," an official said.
This incident reminded people of the Karol Bagh's hotel Arpit Place, inferno in which 17 people died. The investigation in the case had revealed that there was a blockage in the hotel's emergency exit routes which turned out to be one of the main reason behind the casualties. In Anaj Mandi too, most of the people were rescued from the third and fourth floor whereas few victims were also found trapped on the second floor, added Kumar. "They were sleeping at the extreme corner of the building. The fire started somewhere on the third and fourth floor. We searched floor after floor to rescue victims from the premises," a fire official said. Elaborating on the building's design, a DFS official said that every floor had packaging units, workshops, machinery rooms, toilets, lobby and one office.
Meanwhile, DFS director stated that they also found a pressure cooker and a gas stove from the spot. An official said that during questioning, they came to know that some work was going on in the factory till late at night.
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