A massive fire broke out at a six-storey factory in Delhi’s Anaj Mandi which has caused the deaths of at least 43 people, mostly labourers, so far. The fire was reported at around 5.22 am, following which 30 fire tenders were rushed to the spot in Anaj Mandi on Rani Jhansi Road in Delhi.

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According to reports, the factory fire also injured 16-20 people. Around 70 workers were sleeping inside the factory when the huge fire broke out on Sunday.

Several people, who were stuck inside the factory died after reaching hospital. The fire squad managed to rescue and rush around 50 people to four separate hospitals—LNJP, RML, Lady Hardinge and Hindu Rao— where many succumbed to their injuries, and several died after inhaling too much smoke.

According to Deputy Fire Chief Officer Sunil Choudhary, a fire broke out in a 600 sq feet plot which was very dark inside. It was an unregistered bag factory where school bags, bottles and other materials were kept.

The fire department said it was one of the worst fire accidents in the national capital.

A minor fire was again reported from the same factory building which was controlled quickly after people sounded an early alarm, told Delhi Fire Service (DFS) chief Atul Garg to ANI.

Leaders from all across the country expressed grief over the incident and offered their condolences to the families of the dead labourers. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a Rs 10 lakh compensation for the families of the dead. The Delhi government  also ordered a probe into the incident and sought a detailed report within seven days.

The prime minister also approved Rs 50,000 each for those seriously injured in the fire. The PMO said in a tweet that the amount will be paid from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund.

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What went wrong in Delhi Fire Tragedy

Many questions were raised again over the pathetic condition of the building, which was being operated illicitly as a factory. It eventually turned out to be the worst fire in nearly two decades, exposing the loopholes in terms of city planning and inaction in terms of maintaining fire safety rules in Delhi.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team that entered the Delhi building where at least 43 people died in a massive fire said the building was filled with hazardous carbon monoxide.

Initial investigations suggest short circuit as the cause of the fire. There was a lot of plastic in the premises, due to which, there was smoke after the fire occurred. The deaths have mostly occurred due to asphyxiation.

Though the owner of the factory and the manager have been arrested to appease growing public anger, administrative agencies cannot escape responsibility for allowing such factories to function illegally and without safety audits.

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