Delhi Anaj Mandi fire: The factory was located in a densely populated area and operated without obtaining a no-objection certificate.
The devastating fire at a factory in Anaj Mandi of Delhi left 43 dead on Sunday morning. The deceased were mostly daily wage labourers and hailed from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. According to the fire department, during the preliminary investigation, it appeared that an electrical short circuit caused a fire on the first floor. The blaze engulfed the entire first floor of the building that housed a bag factory and left no way for people sleeping on the second floor to escape.
As many as 60 people were present inside the building when the incident happened. While 43 people died due to suffocation, many injured are admitted at Lok Nayak and Lady Hardinge hospitals. The deceased included many minors as well. The factory was located in a densely populated area and operated without obtaining a no-objection certificate. The fire officials rushed the rescued people to nearby hospitals where many of them were declared brought dead and a few succumbed during the treatment.
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One among them was Musharraf Ali, 32. Minutes before his death, Ali had called his friend Shobit and asked him to take care of his family. The seven-minute-long audio clip has now gone viral on the internet.
“Brother I am going to die today. There is a little time and no way to escape. Take care of my home. You are all they have now,” Ali said in his call minutes before he breathed his last.
“…no help… I am unable to breath. Take care of my kids and home. Don’t tell my family suddenly, first discuss with the elder members,” he added.
“There is no way to escape… no one is here to help. This is the last time,” Ali told his friend.
Ali’s cousin Furkan Salim, who was at the hospital to receive the dead body, said that Ali kept repeating that no one was there to help him. Ali had come to Delhi three years ago to earn a livelihood and feed his family. He was a native of Kanda village in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. Ali is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son.
The fire at the factory started at 5.22 AM on Sunday. Nearly 30 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the flames. Since the factory was located in narrow lanes and surrounded by crowded buildings, fire officials were faced with difficulties to control the blaze. According to the emergency personnel, most of the victims died of asphyxiation.