Photos: 43 dead in Anaj Mandi fire, Delhi’s worst blaze in 20 years

Forty three people died in a devastating fire that ripped through an illegal factory in north Delhi’s congested Anaj Mandi early on Sunday, the worst blaze in 20 years that exposed shoddy city planning and lax enforcement of fire safety rules in the Capital. The five-storey building housed at least five different unlicenced units manufacturing bags, plastic toys and jackets, and employed roughly 70 workers who also slept on the floor at night. The fire was doused in 4.5 hours. A senior hospital official said none of the bodies had been burnt and most of them died because they had inhaled the smoke.

Updated On Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST 18 Photos
Copy Link
1 / 18
Noorjahan and Kalam look for their relatives at the Lok Nayak hospital on Sunday. Forty three people died in a massive fire that broke out in an illegal factory in north Delhi’s congested Anaj Mandi early on Sunday, the worst blaze in 20 years that exposed shoddy city planning and lax enforcement of fire safety rules in the national capital. Grieving relatives continue to throng the hospital to recover the bodies of their kin. (Amal KS / HT Photo)

Noorjahan and Kalam look for their relatives at the Lok Nayak hospital on Sunday. Forty three people died in a massive fire that broke out in an illegal factory in north Delhi’s congested Anaj Mandi early on Sunday, the worst blaze in 20 years that exposed shoddy city planning and lax enforcement of fire safety rules in the national capital. Grieving relatives continue to throng the hospital to recover the bodies of their kin. (Amal KS / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
2 / 18
A family member of a worker mourns his death outside a mortuary at Lok Nayak Hospital. Doctors said most of the deaths were due to people inhaling poisonous gases inside the already cramped premises. “Some of the patients have superficial burn injuries but the problem is that most of them have inhaled a lot of smoke,” said Dr Kishore Singh, medical director of the hospital. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

A family member of a worker mourns his death outside a mortuary at Lok Nayak Hospital. Doctors said most of the deaths were due to people inhaling poisonous gases inside the already cramped premises. “Some of the patients have superficial burn injuries but the problem is that most of them have inhaled a lot of smoke,” said Dr Kishore Singh, medical director of the hospital. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
3 / 18
Tearful relatives said they received desperate calls from workers begging to be freed from the burning building in the dark, poorly lit premises. “I got a call from Imran, my elder son, who said ‘Abbu, a massive fire has erupted in the building. I won’t be able to come out alive. Please save me’,” said 58-year-old Nafees, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad town, who lost both his sons in the fire. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Tearful relatives said they received desperate calls from workers begging to be freed from the burning building in the dark, poorly lit premises. “I got a call from Imran, my elder son, who said ‘Abbu, a massive fire has erupted in the building. I won’t be able to come out alive. Please save me’,” said 58-year-old Nafees, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad town, who lost both his sons in the fire. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
4 / 18
A section of the five-storey building where the fire broke out. The building housed at least five different unlicenced units manufacturing bags, plastic toys and jackets, and employed roughly 70 workers who also slept on the floor at night. The building had only a few windows and just one narrow entrance, effectively turning the structure — built in a cramped neighbourhood with serpentine lanes — into an inferno around 5 am. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

A section of the five-storey building where the fire broke out. The building housed at least five different unlicenced units manufacturing bags, plastic toys and jackets, and employed roughly 70 workers who also slept on the floor at night. The building had only a few windows and just one narrow entrance, effectively turning the structure — built in a cramped neighbourhood with serpentine lanes — into an inferno around 5 am. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
5 / 18
A police officer shows photographs to the family members of the victims outside after the fire, outside Lok Nayak hospital. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation said the factory was illegal. The Anaj Mandi area, which was originally residential, was declared ‘mix land use’ in 2006 — only commercial activities such as grocery stores and ‘household’ industries (employing not more than nine people and using not more than 11 kW power) are allowed. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

A police officer shows photographs to the family members of the victims outside after the fire, outside Lok Nayak hospital. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation said the factory was illegal. The Anaj Mandi area, which was originally residential, was declared ‘mix land use’ in 2006 — only commercial activities such as grocery stores and ‘household’ industries (employing not more than nine people and using not more than 11 kW power) are allowed. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
6 / 18
A relative shows a file photo of Mohammad Zakir who lost his life in the fire. Babar Ali, 32, rescued his sister-in-law Maisuma Bibi, who was woken from her bed on the ground of a first-floor handbag factory. Ali said the lives of the migrant workers, who were paid between ₹7,000 and 10,000 a month, was “a bigger tragedy than their death.” (Amal KS / HT Photo)

A relative shows a file photo of Mohammad Zakir who lost his life in the fire. Babar Ali, 32, rescued his sister-in-law Maisuma Bibi, who was woken from her bed on the ground of a first-floor handbag factory. Ali said the lives of the migrant workers, who were paid between ₹7,000 and 10,000 a month, was “a bigger tragedy than their death.” (Amal KS / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
7 / 18
The process to transport the bodies of the deceased from Lok Nayak hospital began today, as police personnel facilitated the movement and media persons stood glued to the spot. “Their only fault was they were poor. Why else would someone work and sleep in such a congested place?” added Ali, who used to work in the same building. (Amal KS / HT Photo)

The process to transport the bodies of the deceased from Lok Nayak hospital began today, as police personnel facilitated the movement and media persons stood glued to the spot. “Their only fault was they were poor. Why else would someone work and sleep in such a congested place?” added Ali, who used to work in the same building. (Amal KS / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
8 / 18
Police personnel deployed at the spot where the fire broke out, on Sunday. “The smoke trapped them. The smoke spread quickly because of the plastic and other inflammable items. The stairs that would lead to the entry-exit gate had caught fire. They were trapped,” a senior police officer outside the building said on condition of anonymity. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Police personnel deployed at the spot where the fire broke out, on Sunday. “The smoke trapped them. The smoke spread quickly because of the plastic and other inflammable items. The stairs that would lead to the entry-exit gate had caught fire. They were trapped,” a senior police officer outside the building said on condition of anonymity. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
9 / 18
Local residents said they were woken up on the misty winter morning by screams of people clamouring to be rescued from the fire around 4 am but didn’t realise the fire had trapped the workers, who were between 13 and 27 and hailed from impoverished districts in Bihar and UP. An hour had passed before plumes of smoke alerted locals. By the time the fire services received a call at 5:22 am, hundreds had gathered around the blazing building. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Local residents said they were woken up on the misty winter morning by screams of people clamouring to be rescued from the fire around 4 am but didn’t realise the fire had trapped the workers, who were between 13 and 27 and hailed from impoverished districts in Bihar and UP. An hour had passed before plumes of smoke alerted locals. By the time the fire services received a call at 5:22 am, hundreds had gathered around the blazing building. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
10 / 18
Firefighters in action at the spot. At least 30 fire tenders arrived quickly but the narrow single approach to the building made it impossible for the bulky engines to reach close to the building. Rescuers had to move dozens of rickshaws and bikes so that the firemen could make their way through the labyrinthine roads enmeshed with electrical wiring. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Firefighters in action at the spot. At least 30 fire tenders arrived quickly but the narrow single approach to the building made it impossible for the bulky engines to reach close to the building. Rescuers had to move dozens of rickshaws and bikes so that the firemen could make their way through the labyrinthine roads enmeshed with electrical wiring. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
11 / 18
Members of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in action at the spot. Senior fire department officers said they had only a sketchy idea of the workers trapped inside. “We thought there were only a dozen occupants initially,” said senior fire officer Sunil Kumar. “Nobody knew how many people were inside. The injured also could not tell us,” he added. It took them 4.5 hours to douse the fire. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Members of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in action at the spot. Senior fire department officers said they had only a sketchy idea of the workers trapped inside. “We thought there were only a dozen occupants initially,” said senior fire officer Sunil Kumar. “Nobody knew how many people were inside. The injured also could not tell us,” he added. It took them 4.5 hours to douse the fire. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
12 / 18
A member of the Delhi police forensic team during his investigation at the site today. Despite a history of major fire incidents, which claimed scores of lives, Sunday’s incident was a glaring eye-opener to the apathy of government agencies towards the implementation of fire safety and building laws. (Raj K Raj / HT Photo)

A member of the Delhi police forensic team during his investigation at the site today. Despite a history of major fire incidents, which claimed scores of lives, Sunday’s incident was a glaring eye-opener to the apathy of government agencies towards the implementation of fire safety and building laws. (Raj K Raj / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
13 / 18
An inside view of the spot in the aftermath of the fire. Most victims of the fire were young, migrant labourers and many of them minors who had moved to the city from places such as Samastipur, Madhubani, Begusarai, Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur in Bihar, and Moradabad and Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

An inside view of the spot in the aftermath of the fire. Most victims of the fire were young, migrant labourers and many of them minors who had moved to the city from places such as Samastipur, Madhubani, Begusarai, Sitamarhi and Muzaffarpur in Bihar, and Moradabad and Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
14 / 18
A child looks at the building where a fire broke out. The Delhi Fire Services said that factory did not have a no-objection certificate. Experts and petitioners of major fire incidents said that after every major case, agencies jump into action in knee-jerk reactions but action is seldom initiated or followed through. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

A child looks at the building where a fire broke out. The Delhi Fire Services said that factory did not have a no-objection certificate. Experts and petitioners of major fire incidents said that after every major case, agencies jump into action in knee-jerk reactions but action is seldom initiated or followed through. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
15 / 18
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the area Sunday afternoon, ordered a magisterial inquiry and announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of the dead and the injured. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who visited the area Sunday afternoon, ordered a magisterial inquiry and announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the families of the dead and the injured. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
16 / 18
Utensils used by the deceased victims had been recovered and collected in one place by the police on Sunday. Most of the factory workers lived in cramped rooms that were shared by 10 to 15 men each. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Utensils used by the deceased victims had been recovered and collected in one place by the police on Sunday. Most of the factory workers lived in cramped rooms that were shared by 10 to 15 men each. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
17 / 18
A police personnel stands guard in front of the building today. The Delhi Fire Services said that factory did not have a no-objection certificate. Police arrested the building owner, Mohammed Rehan and his manager, Furkan, and charged them with culpable homicide and attempt to culpable homicide. The crime branch has taken over the probe and are trying to identify the contractors running the factories. (Amal KS / HT Photo)

A police personnel stands guard in front of the building today. The Delhi Fire Services said that factory did not have a no-objection certificate. Police arrested the building owner, Mohammed Rehan and his manager, Furkan, and charged them with culpable homicide and attempt to culpable homicide. The crime branch has taken over the probe and are trying to identify the contractors running the factories. (Amal KS / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
18 / 18
A family member of a victim mourns outside a mortuary at Lok Nayak hospital on Sunday. The fire department said this was one of Delhi’s worst fire accidents. On June 13, 1997, a fire that started from a transformer in the basement of Uphaar cinema complex caused 59 deaths. Two years later, in Old Delhi’s Lal Kuan, 57 persons died in chemical warehouse fire. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

A family member of a victim mourns outside a mortuary at Lok Nayak hospital on Sunday. The fire department said this was one of Delhi’s worst fire accidents. On June 13, 1997, a fire that started from a transformer in the basement of Uphaar cinema complex caused 59 deaths. Two years later, in Old Delhi’s Lal Kuan, 57 persons died in chemical warehouse fire. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Updated on Dec 12, 2019 08:11 PM IST
Copy Link
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, October 19, 2021