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Goods destroyed in blaze at factory in Chandigarh Industrial Area

Fire noticed around 6.35 am; short-circuit suspected. Fire officer says glaring violations noticed.

punjab Updated: Feb 03, 2018 14:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
fire incident,accident,factory fire
A worker amid the ravaged good at industrial area in Chandigarh on Friday.(Karun Sharma/HT)

A major fire broke out at the first floor of a factory in Phase 1, Industrial Area, on Friday morning. Kitchen accessories, aluminium ladders, paper napkins were stored on the first floor of the plot number 109, when fire broke around 6.35am.

Jagdeep Singh, sub fire officer, Industrial Area, Phase 1, said, “Four fire tenders were rushed to the spot and we managed to douse the flames within 30 minutes. Though the reason for fire is yet to be ascertained, but it seems it was due to short circuit. Whatever accessories were kept on the first floor was gutted and due to which thick smoke engulfed the area.”

Major violations in all industrial units
  • No emergency exit points
  • ISI mark fire extinguishers not installed
  • Hose reels with accessories not provided
  • Automatic detecting alarm system not installed
  • Loose electricity wiring found in most of the units
  • Fire smoke check door not installed
  • Underground static water storage tank with 75,000 litre capacity, with diesel and electric pump, not provided

“There were glaring fire violations in the building and once we prepare the report, we will issue them notice also,” Singh said.

No lessons learnt, 50,000 workers’ lives in peril

Even in October last year, a major fire broke out in Phase 2 here in Devdarshan dhoop factory and several factory workers were injured.

Notices to several units in Phase 1 and 2 have been issued over the past five years, but no action has been taken.

As per the record, there are glaring fire violations in 2,500 industrial units in both the phases, where more the 50,000 workers are being employed.

In the past 8 years, the municipal corporation fire department has sealed only four buildings, one each in Sector 34, and Sector 17 and two in Industrial Area. As per the Municipal Fire Safety Act, after issuing three notices, the MC has to seal the building. Even fire audits are not done regularly in the Industrial Area.

As per the Industrial Safety Act, all the workers should wear safety shoes, apron, safety gloves, safety helmets and masks, but during the visit no worker was wearing the gear.

In Phase 1, there around 10 scrap dealers sitting illegally on the road, just 50 metres away from the fire station, but the fire department has never written to the UT estate office to remove them.

Recent fire audit found buildings lacking fire safety

Recently, during the audit carried by fire officers in 14 buildings, including educational institutes, restaurants, hotels, in city, it came to the fore that almost all of them lacking in fire safety norms and are not equipped with proper measures to combat blaze.

The audit included, Panjab University, hotels, eateries and public institutions in the city.

It was found that even though equipment to deal with fire was in place, it was defunct or not in condition to use effectively in case of fire incident.

First Published: Feb 03, 2018 14:00 IST