Bawana fire: Man who rented Delhi building says fire crackers were stored in it

The Bawana fire which broke out in the basement of the three-storey building had only one exit, in violation of the fire safety guidelines.

Factory owner Manoj Jain told police that most fire crackers were used in wedding celebrations and stage shows. (HT Photo)
The building in Delhi’s Bawana industrial area where 17 people were killed in a fire on Saturday had been stocking fire crackers for Holi celebrations.
Businessman Manoj Jain who had rented the facility and was arrested late Saturday night, told police that most fire crackers were for use in wedding celebrations and stage shows. Police said the quantity of the crackers were more because Jain was storing it for sale in the run up Holi.
The fire which broke out in the basement of the three-storey building, trapping at least 30 employees, had only one exit in violation of the fire safety guidelines.
Taken on rent since January 1 inside the factory most labourers who died on Wednesday were employed to package the fire crackers brought from outside.
Deputy commissioner of police (Rohini) Rajneesh Gupta said Jain had taken the premises on rent on January 1.
“Jain told us that he is the ‘factory owner’ and was paying a monthly rent of Rs. 25,000 for using the building. He has denied that any firecrackers were manufactured inside and said it was only used for packaging of crackers he got from elsewhere,” said Gupta. His claims are being verified, the DCP added.
Police said they are checking if the building had a license to store crackers. Fire officials said the building had not applied for a fire safety clearance.
DCP Gupta said most of the labourers died of asphyxiation. “We have identified five workers who died. Investigation is on.”
6.20pm Fire control room informed about fire at a firecrackers storage and packing unit in outer Delhi’s Bawana Industrial Area
10 fire tenders were dispatched to the spot. More were added later
Over 15 fire tenders douse the blaze within three hours
4 charred bodies taken out of the factory
5 more bodies found during rescue operation
9.30pm eight more bodies were taken out from the factory
Bodies were taken to Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital
17 Fire department officials confirmed the death of 17 persons. 10 women and seven men among the deceased
2 more such fire incidents were reported from the industrial area between 3.30pm and 7.30pm
 Officials suspect that a short-circuit could have led to the blaze
 They said that a blast in the unit due to presence of explosive items and other inflammable materials led to the casualties

Resources : Hindustan Times


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