17 Killed, 30 Injured In Massive Fire At Illegal Cracker Factory In Delhi's Bawana

| January 21 , 2018 , 07:52 IST

At least 17 people have been killed and another 30 injured when a massive fire broke out at an illegal firecracker factory in outer Delhi's Bawana industrial area on Saturday evening. The fatalities include 8 women and 2 children, with the victims being mostly labourers who got trapped inside a room when escape routes were blocked by unauthorised construction.

"Seventeen bodies have been taken out from the godown (warehouse). As many as 30 persons, including some women, have reportedly sustained burn injuries," said a Delhi Fire Services officer, adding that the condition of four persons is critical.

"Initially, we were told that the building was vacant. But a boy who had saved his life by jumping off the first floor told us that there were people trapped inside," fire officials said.

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The officials added that 3 bodies were recovered from the ground floor, 13 from the first floor and 1 from the basement. The 30 injured were rushed to the Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital in Shahbad.

The owners of the factory had a licence for making plastic products, but were reportedly producing firecrackers illegally. Fire officials suspect that phosphorus used for making crackers could have been the cause of the fire, which spread rapidly.

"Police, as well as fire brigade and ambulances, were rushed to F-83 in Sector 5 of Bawana industrial area. The cause of the fire is not yet known," Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajneesh Gupta said.

Meanwhile, the police have caught Manoj Jain and his partner Lalit Goel to verify whether they are the owners/tenant of the building. A case has also been filed under 304 A (causing death due to negligence) and 285 IPC (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter).

In the aftermath of the deadly fire incident, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the next of kin of those who died in the fire, and Rs 1 lakh compensation for the injured.