10 workers have narrow escape after fire breaks out in Ludhiana godown

Workers were putting waste material in a compressing machine when it suddenly caught fire due to a short-circuit
Smoke billowing out of the rag godown in Salem Tabri in Ludhiana on Sunday. Firemen managed to control the blaze in about three hours.(Harsimar Pal SIngh/HT)
Smoke billowing out of the rag godown in Salem Tabri in Ludhiana on Sunday. Firemen managed to control the blaze in about three hours.(Harsimar Pal SIngh/HT)
Updated on Nov 22, 2020 11:35 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | By, Ludhiana

Ten workers had a narrow escape after a fire broke out at a rag godown in Salem Tabri on Sunday. The incident took place at around 12pm.

The owner of the godown, Ashok Kumar, said newspapers, cardboard boxes and plastic materials kept in the godown caught fire, resulting in the blaze.

Atish Rai, sub-fire officer (SFO), said no casualty has been reported. He said 10 workers were putting waste material in a compressing machine when it suddenly caught fire due to a short circuit.

The workers raised the alarm and took cover. Soon, the fire department was informed.Rai said that 22 firefighters were pressed into service and 32 fire tenders were used to douse the flames.

“We had managed to control the fire completely By 3pm ,” he added. The SFO said no fire safety arrangements were in place at the godown.

Later, municipal commissioner Pardeep Sabharwal and Zone-D commissioner Kulpreet Singh visited the spot where they were gheraoed by residents.

The residents demanded the shifting of the godown from the vicinity. They said fires had broken out in the godown twice earlier, due to which their houses had also caught fire, resulting in economic losses.The officials assured them that they will look into the matter and necessary action will be taken.

No lesson learnt

It has been over three years since the then local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu had announced a fire safety audit of properties in Ludhiana after a plastic factory blaze in 2017 claimed 16 lives, including nine firefighters.

The audit is yet to be completed. Thousands of factories and commercial units in Ludhiana are still functioning without no-objection certificates (NOCs). Though the process was initiated in March 2018, it was suspended after a month.

At that time, the fire brigade and Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) officials had claimed that all buildings, both commercial and industrial, will be inspected under the survey and corrective steps will be taken.

The audit team was also supposed to check how many units were illegally storing highly inflammable material. but However, the survey is still in doldrums.

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