Firefighters trying to douse the fire which broke out in a plastic factory at Industrial Area, Phase-9, in Mohali on Saturday, June 20.(Gurminder Singh/HT)
Firefighters trying to douse the fire which broke out in a plastic factory at Industrial Area, Phase-9, in Mohali on Saturday, June 20.(Gurminder Singh/HT)

Mohali factory blaze: Equipment not upgraded, says fire dept

The unit had outdated fire extinguishers. It also lacked a smoke detection alarm, illuminated exit sign, smoke check door, fire control room or fire lifts with fireman’s switch
Hindustan Times, Mohali | By Hillary Victor
UPDATED ON JUN 21, 2020 11:07 PM IST

Mohali : A plastic products factory which was partly gutted in a fire on Saturday at Industrial Area, Phase 9, Mohali, did not have safety measures in place, a fire department report revealed on Sunday.

The unit, Accutex Sales and Services, had outdated fire extinguishers. It also lacked a smoke detection alarm, illuminated exit sign, smoke check door, fire control room or fire lifts with fireman’s switch that allows firefighters to disconnect power from high voltage devices. No hose reels to spray water were installed.

The fire broke out at around 6 pm, an hour after all 30 workers had left the premises .

“We will submit the report to the municipal corporation commissioner on Monday and will also issue notices to the factory owner. The building lacked fire equipment. Also the exact reason for the fire is yet is ascertained though we suspect it was due to a short-circuit,” said fire officer Karam Chand Sood.

Factory owner Paras Shah claimed that they had suffered losses of 25 lakh. On asking about fire safety measures adopted by the unit, he said, “We had fire extinguishers and sand, but no worker was present so it could not be used.”

Fire tragedies: No lessons learnt in Mohali

The recent fire tragedies seem to have had no impact on the authorities, even after a safety audit following the Surat coaching centre fire tragedy in May last year revealed several violations in most of its commercial establishments.

After submitting its report to the Mohali to deputy commissioner in June last year, the fire department also issued 200 notices to commercial establishments falling under its jurisdiction on June 14 last year seeking compliance with fire safety norms. They were warned their water and sewerage connections would be snapped.

No action, however was taken.

The revised rules as per National Building Code 2016 require staircases at the rear of showrooms, something that cannot be done in the existing structures.

That’s why “we cannot give no-objection certificates (NoC) until the bye-laws are relaxed. There is no way to tackle the issue,” Sood had said last year.

The fire department report had identified 500 commercial establishments in Mohali, Kharar and Kurali which were not complying with fire safety norms and included coaching centres, hotels and other showrooms.

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