A massive blaze gutted a scrap segregation facility spread over a radius of more than a kilometer in northwest Delhi during the early hours of Sunday morning. Authorities said they suspected it was a case of arson.
According to police, the fire was reported at 2:20 am from the facility on Phirni Road in the Mundka industrial area - approximately a kilometer’s distance from the DMRC’s recently inaugurated Inderlok-Mundka line.
According to fire officials, 35 fire tenders struggled through the night to douse the inferno – which virtually razed everything within a two-acre radius of the facility.
“We have reason to believe the incident was a deliberate attempt to clear the storage ground which has been encroached by numerous scrap dealers operating there,” said a senior Delhi Fire Service official on condition of anonymity.
The fire-fighting operation took more than 15 hours with Delhi Fire Service officials claiming to have contained the blaze at about 9:30 am on Sunday morning. No casualties were reported.
Fire officials alleged that local hoodlums with vested interests had deliberately ignited the fire.
“Eyewitnesses have told us that they saw a gang of four assailants on two motorcycles identify four vantage points on the outer limits of the storage facility and drench them with flammable material before they set them afire,” the official said.
The fire spread across a radius of two acres after being aggravated by 50 almost simultaneous gas cylinder blasts, said fire department officials.
“What were so many usable, gas-filled cylinders doing at the facility apparently only used to store plastic waste?”
Police said they were yet to receive any complaint of arson from anyone.