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Bawana fire: It took authorities 3 hours to control blaze, followed by 90 min rescue op

The two-storey building in Delhi’s Bawana Industrial Area caught fire on Saturday, killing 17 people

delhi Updated: Jan 21, 2018 10:12 IST
Vibha Sharma
Vibha Sharma
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bawana fire,Bawana,Bawana Industrial Area
Police stand guard in front of a plastic factory in the Bawana industrial area on the northern edge of New Delhi on January 20, 2018 after a fire killed at least 17 workers. (AFP Photo)

It took three hours for the Delhi Fire Services to douse the fire at the cracker storage unit in Bawana Industrial Area in outer Delhi with the help of 80 fire fighters, 16 civil defence employees and 13 ambulances from the Delhi Government’s Centralised Accident Trauma Services (CATS).

Live updates: Bawana fire

The Delhi Fire Services said they received a call about the blaze at the spot around 6.20 pm and 15 fire engines were rushed to the spot immediately. Though the fire officials were successful in controlling the situation by 9:20pm, the search operation continued for another 90 minutes.

“Since no one was there to clarify how many people were working in the factory or present at the time of fire incident, we decided to continue our search operation on each floor and find out if any other person was caught inside the place,” said senior official from Delhi Fire Services.

However, around 10:50 pm, Suresh Mittal, senior chief warden, Delhi civil defence (North) announced that the rescue operation was over and the site had been sealed. “After 17 casualties, we didn’t find any other person inside the place,” he said.

According to initial reports, 30 people were reported to be working in the factory and 11 of them might left the place by 6 pm.

Read more | Bawana fire: Building that stored crackers had only one exit, two fire extinguishers

“We even contacted the hospitals in the area to confirm if any local had approached them with burnt injuries after the incident,” said the fire official.

According to the official, though everyone, including police, civil defence and locals helped in the search operation outside the building, only fire officials were allowed to go inside.

“Since it was a short duration blaze, the building was safe even after the fire incident took place unlike the Narela fire incident that took place in September 2016 when the building had collapsed,” said the official.

Several senior political leaders like Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain along with Union minister Harsh Vardhan rushed at the spot to take stock of the situation on Saturday night.

Kejriwal, at the spot, announced Rs 5,00,000 as compensation for the families of the deceased and Rs 1,00,000 for the wounded.

First Published: Jan 21, 2018 09:55 IST