A worker died and 15 others suffered burns other injuries when a major fire broke out at an incense stick manufacturing factory at Site-4 in Sahibabad Industrial Area on Saturday evening. The blaze started around 5pm and continued for nearly three hours.
The cause of the fire is yet to be established, fire services officials said.
According to the officials, the blaze started on the ground floor of the building. But since the factory housed inflammable chemicals, it soon engulfed the other three storeys.
Fire tenders and personnel from different stations like Hindon air base, Noida and Dadri were rushed to the spot to douse the fire.
According to fire department officials, the fire continued for more than three hours and 15 fire tenders had to be rushed to douse it.
Most of the labourers working on the ground floor managed to rush out in time. However, those working on the higher floors got trapped and had to be rescued.
“There were nearly 60 people inside the factory when the fire started and 15 of them were trapped inside. They went to the terrace of the factory to save themselves from the flames. A crane was used to bring them down safely,” said Akshay Ranjan Sharma, chief fire officer of Ghaziabad.
One of the workers, identified as Sarfaraz, suffered burns and suffocation from the smoke. He was taken to a nearby hospital but could not be saved.
“Sarfaraz was working in an interior area on the ground floor when the fire started and could not escape. The cause of the fire is yet to be established,” Sharma said.
“Sarfaraz suffered burns and had also inhaled toxic fumes which could have led to his death,” he added.
Sharma said documents of the factory will be checked during an inquiry.
“The no-objection certificate and other documents of the unit will be checked during an inquiry,” he said.
The police, meanwhile, said many factory workers had lost consciousness because of inhaling smoke and they had to be rushed to hospital.
They said of the 15 workers trapped at the terrace of the factory, 12 were women who panicked and rushed to the terrace.
By 8pm, the fire was almost under control. According to sources, the factory had started operation only a couple of weeks ago.