A fire broke out in Delhi's Anaj Mandi on Rani Jhansi feet road early this morning. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)
At least 43 people were killed after a fire broke out in a paper factory operating in a residential area at Anaj Mandi on Delhi's Rani Jhansi road early Sunday morning. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the site of the incident and has ordered a probe to find out the cause of the fire.
The Delhi Police, later in the day, arrested the factory owner, Rehan, and his manager Fukran, and registered a case against them under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The Anad Mandi fire is the second deadliest fire in the national capital, with the case being transferred to the Crime Branch.
Nearly 30 fire tenders were rushed to the spot after the first call regarding the fire was received at 5:22 am. The fire was reportedly caused due to a short circuit in the electric meter of the factory where 200 workers had been sleeping. Nearly 55 people were trapped and rescue efforts are still underway. The injured are being treated at Lok Nayak hospital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming the fire "extremely horrific", expressed condolences to those deceased. "The fire in Delhi’s Anaj Mandi on Rani Jhansi Road is extremely horrific. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. Wishing the injured a quick recovery. Authorities are providing all possible assistance at the site of the tragedy," Modi wrote on Twitter and later, announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to next of kin of deceased and approved Rs 50,000 each for those seriously injured.
Rescue operations are still underway. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)
Expressing grief over the incident, Kejriwal wrote on Twitter, "Very very tragic news. Rescue operations going on. Firemen doing their best. Injured are being taken to hospitals." He has also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of the victims who have been killed.
Home Minister Amit Shah said that he has urged authorities to ensure assistance on an urgent basis. “Tragic loss of precious lives in the fire accident in New Delhi. My deepest condolences with families of those who have lost their loved ones. I pray for the early recovery of the injured. Have instructed concerned authorities to provide all possible assistance on an urgent basis,” he tweeted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “Saddened at the news that a massive fire in the Anaj Mandi area of Delhi has claimed many lives and left several people injured. I extend my deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wish for the speedy recovery of those injured.”
Delhi has witnessed some major fire incidents in the past and here's a list of some major fires in Delhi and the national capital region.