Giving a political twist to the Anaj Mandi fire tragedy, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari on Monday alleged that the factory owner is a worker with ruling Aam Aadmi Party. “Rehan, owner of the floor (where a fire broke out yesterday in Delhi's Anaj Mandi) is said to be an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) worker,” Tiwari said during a press conference. A massive fire at a Delhi factory claimed at least 43 lives, mostly labourers, early on Sunday. The Filmistan fire is 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.
Lok Sabha MP Verma demanded that a "high-level inquiry should be done in 48 hours and tell us what were the lapses, and the people responsible for it."
Meanwhile, civic authorities had last week “surveyed” the four-storey building housing illegal manufacturing units, where 43 lives were lost in a massive fire on Sunday, but the upper floors were found to be locked due to which the entire structure could not be inspected, according to official sources.
Officials were to visit the building again to survey the upper floors and accordingly issue a show-cause notice, a source said.
A preliminary probe by authorities suggested that a short-circuit triggered the fire which started on the building’s second floor.
“The building was surveyed last week by civic authorities, but upper floors were found locked so the entire building could not be surveyed,” an official source claimed.
The building is under Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 which protects unauthorised construction from being sealed.