The building at Udyog Nagar area collapsed following an explosion when firefighters were dousing the blaze, an official said. (Photo Credit: News Nation)
On the second of the New Year, a massive blaze broke out in Delhi’s Peeragarhi area on Thursday. Fourteen including 13 firefighters were injured in the blaze. They suffered severe injuries after the battery factory collapsed during the explosion after the fire. A security guard of the factory was also injured, a police officer told reporters and said one person was still trapped under the debris. The building at Udyog Nagar area collapsed following an explosion when firefighters were dousing the blaze, an official said. The rescue operation is still underway.
The severity of the blaze can be gauged from the fact that more than 30 fire engines were at the spot in the morning. Several people, including fire brigade personnel, were trapped under the debris. A team of the National Disaster Response Force was conducting the rescue operation. According to initial reports, a call was received around 4:23 am about the fire in a factory located in Peeragarhi’s Udyog Nagar area. At first, the fire department had sent seven tenders. Some blasts were also reported from the factory. Due to one of such blast, a part of the factory collapsed and some fire department personnel were feared trapped under the debris.
The Peeragarhi fire is the first major incident of blaze in the National Capital in 2020. Last year, Delhi witnessed a massive fire in Anaj Mandi area that claimed 43 lives. The Filmistan fire was the worst that the National Capital has witnessed since the Uphaar tragedy that killed 59 people. The tragic incident prompted visit from high-profile politicians, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union ministers Hardeep Puri and Harsh Vardhan, Lok Sabha MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, Delhi Industry Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari and BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa to the LNJP Hospital.
Almost all the deceased were migrant labourers hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Police and fire department officials said many of the fatalities occurred due to suffocation as the people were sleeping when the fire started at around 5 am on the second floor of the building that did not have fire safety clearance and was packed with combustible material like card boards.
It took over 150 firefighters nearly five hours to douse the blaze. As many as 63 people were pulled out from the building. While 43, including one minor, died, 16 were injured. Two fire department personnel were hurt while carrying out rescue work, officials said.