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Close shave for four as fire breaks out at medicine godown in Ludhiana

Night time blaze: The labourers, along with the infant, were asleep on top floor of building when the fire broke out; were alerted by neighbourers after which they came down with help of a water pipe.

punjab Updated: Jan 30, 2018 16:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Close shave,fire breaks out at,medicine godown
Firefighters trying to douse the flames at the medicine godown at Cheema Chowk in Ludhiana on Monday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)

Three workers and an infant had a narrow escape after a major fire broke out at a multi-story medicine godown, Bee Kay enterprises, in Industrial Area A, near Cheema Chowk, on Monday morning.The incident took place at around 3.45am when the workers along with the infant were asleep in a room on the top floor of the building.

NO LESSONS LEARNT
  • Even though more than two months have passed after a plastic factory in the city was destroyed in a fire mishap wherein as many as 16 lives were lost, the local bodies department has still not started inspection of industrial buildings in the city.
  • The announcement regarding the same was done by the minister for local bodies department Navjot Singh Sidhu after the plastic factory collapse incident.
  • The authorities had claimed at the time that fire safety arrangements and building bylaws will be checked during the inspection/survey.

One of the workers, Vijay, said that he, along with his wife, six-month-old son and brother were sleeping when the neighbours alerted them about the fire. As the entry gate was engulfed in fire, they escaped to the roof of an adjoining building with the help of a water pipe.

Cause of fire not known

The cause of fire has not yet been ascertained. Firefighters say some areas of the building did not have any ventilation. Furthermore, since there were many cardboard boxes, in which the medicines were stored, in the building, the firefighters had trouble dousing the flames. The firefighters, however, managed to remove a gas cylinder kept in the building on time, preventing a blast.

The fire was brought under control after over 12 hours but one fire engine was still deputed at the spot at the time of the filing of the report on Monday evening.

Sub fire officer, Gurinder Singh said that as many as nine fire tenders from different fire stations of the city were pressed into service and the fire department was able to douse the flames by 5 PM.

NO SAFETY GEARS FOR FIREMEN
  • Firefighters continue to risk their lives in the absence of fire safety equipment.
  • On Monday too, the firefighters were seen entering the building without proper safety equipment.
  • The firefighters said the government has announced that equipment would be provided but nothing has been done at the ground level.

Goods worth Rs 20 crore destroyed: Owner

GN Bansal, the owner of the godown, claimed that goods worth over Rs 20 crore were destroyed in the fire. According to information, the medicines are brought from abroad and stored in the building, from where these are supplied to different parts of Punjab.

Bansal said he came to know about the incident at around 4.15am. He added that no casualty was reported and all the workers managed to come out of the building safely.

Godown had no fire safety measures

Sources in the fire department said there was no fire safety equipment or fire exit in the godown.

Another fire

Meanwhile, another fire incident was reported from a dying unit in Focal Point Area on Monday afternoon. Leading firemen Harish Kumar said that it was a minor incident where a machine caught fire and it was brought under control by the factory staff by themselves.

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 16:15 IST