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Bawana Fire: 17 Killed, Man Detained Says He Was Running Delhi Cracker Factory Alone

Thirteen people died on the first floor, three on the ground and one in the basement. A few jumped off the terrace of the building to save themselves and sustained injuries.

Updated:January 21, 2018, 7:37 AM IST
New Delhi: Ten women and seven men were killed while a man and woman were injured in a massive blaze at a firecracker storage unit in outer Delhi's Bawana industrial area on Saturday evening.

A man who was apprehended by the police in connection with the fire accident has said that he took the factory premises on rent and was running it alone.

The fire, which started at the storage unit on the ground floor of a two-storey building, ripped through the structure, a Delhi Fire Services official said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rohini) Rajneesh Gupta said a person named Manoj Jain has been apprehended.

Jain told police that he was running the factory alone and had taken it on rent.

Earlier, the police had said that Jain was running the unit in partnership with one Lalit Goel.

The police had said that an FIR has been registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections relating to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible material. The maximum punishment under section 304 is 10 years.

The Delhi government has ordered an inquiry into the blaze. While the fire department said the blaze occurred at a firecracker storage unit, the DCP had said they are yet to confirm this. He said it was a matter of investigation if firecrackers were being manufactured too.

Dli Bawana Fire_1
Fifteen fire tenders were rushed to the site to douse the flame. (Photo: CNN-News18)

The Delhi Fire Services received a call about the blaze at the factory around 6:20 pm and 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, the fire department said, adding the fire has been brought under control.

GC Mishra, Director, Delhi Fire Service, said it was a firecracker storage unit and the building comprised a basement, ground floor and two upper floors.

"One body was recovered from the basement, three from the ground floor and 13 from the first floor. One person sustained fractures after he jumped from the second floor to save himself," he said.

Mishra said the fire was doused by 9.20 pm but search and rescue operations were underway. "We are taking no chance. We don't have a definite number of people who were in the building when the fire broke out," he said.

The police said the people were either charred or got choked to death.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish at the death of people in the fire. "My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. May those who are injured recover quickly," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted quoting Modi.

The Delhi government ordered an inquiry into the blaze even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he was keeping a "close watch" on the rescue operations. "V(ery) sad to hear abt large no of casualties. Keeping a close watch on rescue operations," he said in a tweet.

Delhi Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain said an inquiry has been ordered into the incident. "Learnt about a serious fire incident in a private factory at Bawana. Several casualties reported. Monitoring the situation. Ordered enquiry," Jain tweeted.

North Delhi Mayor Preety Agarwal rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. "The factory falls in the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) area," a senior NDMC official said.

The medical superintendent of Dr Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Hospital Dr Punita Mahajan said they received a disaster alert which was called off at 11.30 pm

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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