Delhi fire tragedy: Police arrest owner of Anaj Mandi factory that caught fire
Photo: ANI

After a massive fire in a factory in Anaj Mandi area of north Delhi on Sunday morning left at least 43 labourers dead and many others injured, the police have now arrested the owner of the building.

A case has been registered against Rehan, the owner under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder punishable with a maximum imprisonment of 10 years) of the Indian Penal Code. Earlier in the day police had said that he was absconding.

Delhi Police DCP North Monika Bhardwaj told ANI that both the owner and his manager Furkan have been arrested.

"We are investigating the matter. From the information we have, more or less there is no possibility of more bodies being recovered," she added.

After the fire broke out Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and sought a report within seven days.

The CM also met with the injured who have been admitted to LNJP hospital.

The Delhi government has announced compensation for the victim's families, as well as for those who have been seriously injured. Kejriwal announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the family members of the deceased. He also said that a compensation of Rs 1 lakh would be given to those injured in the blaze.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the tragic fire in Delhi. He also approved Rs. 50,000 each for those seriously injured in the fire.

The NDRF team that entered the building, said it was filled with hazardous carbon monoxide. Most workers of the illegal manufacturing units that ran in the four-storey building in north Delhi's Anaj Mandi area died due to suffocation.

Police and fire department officials said most of the fatalities occurred due to suffocation as many people were sleeping when the fire started around 5 am on the second floor of the building that did not have fire safety clearance.

Those awakened by the fire, suspected by officials to have been triggered by a short-circuit due to "internal system" trouble, had to struggle to escape as the exit routes were partially blocked and several windows were found sealed.

The fire was first reported at 5:22 am after which 30 fire tenders were rushed, officials said.

Nearly 150 firefighters worked to pull out 63 people from the building. While 43 labourers died, many others were injured including two fire department personnel, they said.

The narrow lanes of Anaj Mandi area made rescue operations difficult for firefighters, who had to cut window-grills to get access to the building. A preliminary probe suggested that a short-circuit triggered the blaze. Power discom BYPL said the fire began due to "internal system" trouble.

The Anaj Mandi inferno that killed at least 43 people on Sunday morning is the most severe fire in the national capital after the Uphaar Cinema tragedy that claimed 59 lives and left over 100 injured.

(With inputs from agencies)

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