A 27-year-old labourer was killed and five others, including three firefighters, were injured after a building collapsed due to fire in outer Delhi’s Narela area on Thursday. While rescue operations continued, at least three persons were still feared trapped under the debris.
The fire in the three-storey building of a plastic factory was reported last evening and 35 fire tenders were rushed to douse the blaze, which led to the collapse of the building leaving Sanjan Kumar dead, they said.
Three firefighters -- assistant divisional officer A K Jaiswal, sub-officer Tejpal and fireman Anup Kumar, along with two others who were injured during the rescue operations have been hospitalised, fire officials said.
Fire department officials said cooling and rescue operations are still underway as they feared that three more people were trapped in the rubble.
“Three people-- two firemen and a labourer-- are still feared trapped under the debris,” said Atul Garg, chief fire officer, Delhi Fire Service.
He said the firemen were facing difficulty to carry out the rescue operation since the front portion of the building was still intact while its rear part has collapsed.
“We cannot raze down the front portion as the adjoining structures will get affected. Even though we have an excavator at work we are still forced to continue the excavation manually,” Garg added.
According to fire department officials, the fire started on the ground floor of the factory and spread to the upper floors of the warehouse where plastic glasses were made.
Delhi PWD minister Satyendar Jain visited the site of the incident and took stock of the situation.
“The back portion of the three-storey building has completely collapsed and only the front portion is standing. This is affecting our rescue work and there is a lot of debris.
“Thirty-five fire tenders have been pressed into service and an NDRF team is also assisting in the rescue operation. We have also asked PWD engineering department to pitch in,” he said.
When asked about the people still feared to be trapped in the rubble, he said, “There are heavy beams which cannot be removed manually. We are trying to figure out a way to rescue them.”
The rescue operations are still going on and an excavator is at work at the site, the fire department official said.