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At least 43 killed as fire breaks out in Anaj Mandi in Delhi, PM calls the blaze ‘horrific’

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NEW DELHI:

A massive fire in a building in Anaj Mandi caused probably due to short circuit claimed at least 43 lives here on Sunday. Fire Services chief Atul Garg said the blaze was put out by 25 fire trucks and the rescue operation has been completed. He said that over 50 people had been moved out of the area.

Initially the casualty figures stood at around 30 but at later stage, it was feared that the mishap has claimed at least 43 lives. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the fire as “extremely horrific” and wished the injured a “quick recovery”.

“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,” he tweeted. Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also visited the spot. “The exact cause of the mishap is not yet ascertained,” the Chief Minister told reporters.

According to fire department sources, the information about the fire incident was received around 0520 hrs and immediately after that more than 25 vehicles of fire brigade were sent to the spot. The evacuated people were sent to nearby Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital (LNJP) and Hindu Rao Hospital for treatment, the fire department said.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has reached the incident spot. According to the police, more than 30 people have died due to suffocation and a large number of people are being treated in both hospitals. According to Medical Superintendent of LNJP, Dr Kishore Kumar, 14 people brought to the hospital have died and a large number of injured are being treated.

One attending medico said the victims were brought to the hospital by rescuers. Some of the victims being treated for burns or smoke inhalation were in stable condition, he said. The cause of the fire is being investigated. “The reason of the fire is yet to be known,” an official said. Old-timers say in 1997, a fire in a movie theater in New Delhi had killed 59 people.

In February this year, at least 17 people were killed by a fire in a six-story hotel. Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed condolences for the mishap. “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 urgent basis,” Mr Shah tweeted.

According to an R Rahman, an elderly whose two nephews were working in the factory, “At least 12-15 machines were installed in the unit. I have no idea about the factory owner. I was told they make bags”. “My nephews Mohd mran and Ikramuddin were inside the factory. I don’t know where they are,” he said. According to him, many units were operating from the premises which was located in a congested area.

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