Woman dies, 3 hurt as fire breaks out at scrapyard in IMT Manesar

Updated on Apr 27, 2022 05:04 AM IST

Officials from the fire department said at least 35 fire tenders, including a few roped in from districts neighbouring Gurugram, were pressed into service to control the blaze.

Gurugram, India - April. 26, 2022: Smoke billows from a site were a massive fire erupted in a garbage pile, near Kankrola village in Sector 6, Industrial Model Township (IMT) Manesar, in Gurugram, India, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. One dead, three injured in the incident according to the reports. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Gurugram, India - April. 26, 2022: Smoke billows from a site were a massive fire erupted in a garbage pile, near Kankrola village in Sector 6, Industrial Model Township (IMT) Manesar, in Gurugram, India, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022. One dead, three injured in the incident according to the reports. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
By, Gurugram

A 48-year-old woman died while three people were injured after a massive fire broke out at a scrapyard, spanning across 30 acres adjoining a slum cluster, and gutted as many as 100 shanties near Kankrola village in Sector 6, IMT Manesar, on Monday night.

Officials from the fire department said at least 35 fire tenders, including a few roped in from districts neighbouring Gurugram, were pressed into service to control the blaze. Firefighting and rescue operations got over after 14 hours.

This is the third fire to be reported at a scrapyard in Gurugram this month. On April 8, at least 60 shanties were gutted after a scrapyard in Sector 74, located less than a kilometre from NH-48 and the Southern Peripheral Road on the Gurugram-Manesar border, caught fire. On April 1, a scrapyard in Basai near Sector 37-C caught fire, in which 15 shanties and two vehicles were gutted.

The deceased was identified as Meena Devi, a native of Bihar who worked with her husband in the scrapyard and lived in the area for the last six years, said police adding that some people also sustained minor injuries in the mishap and were given first-aid at the spot.

Residents living in nearby condominiums recorded videos of billows of smoke emanating from the scrapyard, which were widely shared on social media. There was a long power cut in the area, which was restored early Tuesday morning.

Ragpickers and small-time scrap dealers stayed near the scrapyard, where they had built scrap godowns and more than 100 hutments were there on the land for the last eight years. The scrapyard stored items from nearby industries and thousands of tonnes of plastic, paper and other waste. A liquor shop situated in the vicinity was also gutted in the fire.

Though the district administration is yet to share more details about the damage, it confirmed that over 100 shanties were gutted in the fire.

Gulshan Kalra, deputy director (technical), fire department, said they received information around 10.20pm on Monday that shanties in IMT Manesar area have caught fire. “We immediately sent our fire tenders and informed all fire station teams in Nuh, Bahadurgarh and Rewari to send their firefighters and tenders to control the blaze as it was one of the biggest fires in the district. Due to strong winds and dust storms on Monday night, the fire quickly spread to an area of over 4-5 kilometres. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained,” he said.

Narender Singh, station fire officer of Sector 29, said the firefighting and rescue operation went on till 3am. “The fire was brought under control around 4am but we continued with our operations to ensure there were no more casualties. One person died on the spot due to severe burn injuries and three others were also hurt. Two were referred to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi while one was referred to another hospital in Delhi. It seemed that some people were sleeping and others were cooking and they could not escape as the fire spread very fast. The hutments were completely gutted,” he said.

Suresh Kumar, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), said teams from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) visited the spot on Monday night. “We have recorded statements of the family members of the deceased and other victims who were injured. There are many possibilities behind how the fire started. There are power cables in the huts, sparks from which could have led to the massive blaze. Our teams have collected samples from the spot,” he said.

Kumar said heavy smoke emanated from the scrapyard until late Tuesday evening. Piles of waste were removed using earthmovers only to detect embers below it, he said.

Police said the exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained adding that many small cylinders caused some 10 to 15 explosions, which increased the intensity of the fire.

Commissioner of Gurugram police Kala Ramachandran said they have registered a case under sections 304-A (causing death by negligence) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC.

“Senior police officers, including assistant commissioner of police Manesar,were at the spot throughout the night. We received information around midnight... we informed the district commissioner and private companies to send fire tenders. We also coordinated with adjoining districts to send fire tenders,” she said.

Deputy commissioner of Gurugram Nishant Kumar Yadav on Tuesday said they have taken cognisance of the incident and they are trying to ascertain the cause of the fire. “We have made temporary arrangements for the families, whose huts were burnt, at the community centre in Kakrola and Bhangrola village. We are providing regular meals and water to the victims. Residents are also coming and supporting the victims with clothes and money,” said Yadav.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Leena Dhankhar has worked with Hindustan Times for five years. She has covered crime, traffic and excise. She now reports on civic issues and grievances of residents.

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