Narela fire rescue ops delayed by lack of equipment, coordination
Lack of equipment and coordination among government agencies has been delaying rescue and cooling down operations at the plastic factory in Narela that caught fire on Wednesday evening. Officials said that every passing minute is proving fatal for the three people, including two fire fighters, trapped in the debris.delhi Updated: Oct 01, 2016 01:29 IST
Lack of equipment and coordination among government agencies has been delaying rescue and cooling down operations at the plastic factory in Narela that caught fire on Wednesday evening. Officials said that every passing minute is proving fatal for the three people, including two fire fighters, trapped in the debris.
After the fire broke out at the factory at 4.40pm, reportedly due to a short circuit, the Delhi Fire Services sent a request to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Public Works Department (PWD) to lend them their rubble-removing machines for the rescue operations.
But it was not until Thursday afternoon, almost 24 hours after the fire was reported, that the fire department managed to get the machine.
Neither the fire department nor the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) owns these machines.
The factory building is also covered with concrete slabs and a high-powered drilling machine is required to cut through it, also not available with the rescuers.
“The fire department does not own any of these equipments, which are important to clear the rubble. We were so caught up in fulfilling procedures and begging other departments for machines that no one bothered to think about the men who are trapped inside the building,” said a senior fire official, who was present at the spot on Friday.
Fireman Manjeet, fire operator Sunil from Keshav Puram fire station, and a labourer were caught inside the burning building when the main pillar of the factory collapsed in the blaze.
Twenty seven-year-old Sajjan Kumar’s body was taken out on Thursday evening and handed over to the family.
The fire official said the ongoing rescue process was proof of how Delhi is not equipped to handle such disasters.
“If a major earthquake was to hit the city and buildings were to collapse, our rescue teams would not be able to handle it. People would die of suffocation under the debris waiting to be rescued,” the official.
Fire chief, GC Mishra, said that though there is very little possibility of the trapped people to survive, any rescue operation is conducted with an attitude of taking out victims alive.
“Life is a miraculous thing. There have been cases where people have survived under three or four storeys of rubble for days. We get inside burning buildings with the attitude of saving people not to fish out their dead bodies,” Mishra said.
The lax attitude and lack of coordination among agencies seems to show little regard for human life. The lack of technical expertise has also slowed the rescue.
“The building has a transformer at the gate which is blocking the entrance. An engineer from DMRC visited the site to assess how entry can be made,” a Delhi Police official said.