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10 killed in factory fire

Ten labourers were charred to death and a three-storey footwear manufacturing-cum-storage facility was reduced to cinders after a fire broke out in the premises at west Delhi's Peeragarhi area on Wednesday evening.

delhi Updated: Apr 28, 2011 23:26 IST
HT Correspondent

Ten labourers were charred to death and a three-storey footwear manufacturing-cum-storage facility was reduced to cinders after a fire broke out in the premises at west Delhi's Peeragarhi area on Wednesday evening.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

The police initiated criminal proceedings against the unit's owner and chief minister Sheila Dikshit ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident that engaged over 20 fire tenders and several officials of the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) for more than 24 hours.

"The fire erupted at Pinky Porsh Private Limited factory located in the H-block around 7pm on Wednesday and engulfed the entire building which was constructed on an area of 1200 sq yards. It never sought and was granted a fire-safety certificate," said AK Sharma, DFS director.

Consisting of a basement, mezzanine and first floor, the building is said to be stacked with cartons containing packed, plastic-based items such as slippers and shoes as well as flammable packaging material.

According to eyewitnesses and family members of the manufacturing unit's workers - several of whom died in the fire - fire broke out on the first

floor of the building when at least 30 people, including children working as casual labourers, were inside.

"The first floor of the building suddenly erupted in huge flames at 6.15pm. It was full of people and we could hear them screaming for help. All of us gathered below the building and tried to guide them out of the structure through windows and ventilators that we could see from down here, but all of them were blocked," said 40-year-old Mohammad Shakeel, who works at an adjacent plastic manufacturing unit.

A case of causing death due to negligence was lodged at the Mianwali Nagar police station against Narendra Singhla, the owner of the manufacturing unit but the investigators wait for preliminary investigations to arrest him.