Illegal structures, ignoring fire safety norms kills people in Delhi fire
Low respect for fire safety norms, buildings functioning without necessary clearances and illegal factories have lost precious lives in fire incidents in Delhi in recent years, the most recent being the Mundka fire on Friday. In terms of casualties, Friday’s fire at the commercial building was the biggest after a factory fire in the Anaj Mandi area and the second largest after the Uphaar Cinema tragedy in 1997.
According to officials, 27 people have died so far in the fire at Mundka factory while 29 people are still reported missing. Twelve people were injured when a fire broke out in a four-storey building, which had a single and narrow entry and exit, making it difficult to escape. Before Mundka, the national capital has been witness to several fire incidents.
In March this year, seven people were killed when several shanties caught fire in Gokumpuri. In December 2019, a fire at Anaj Mandi claimed 44 lives, making it the worst fire incident in the national capital after the Uphaar Cinema tragedy, which claimed 59 lives and over 100 in June, 1997. were injured.
The screening of the Bollywood film “Border” was being held at Uphaar Theater in the posh Green Park area and several families were there to watch Sunny Deol’s film on the day of its release on June 13, 1997. But the film turned into a catastrophe in the form of a massive fire. Broke during the 3 pm show.
Days after the Anaj Mandi fire broke out, another fire tragedy struck the national capital, in which nine people lost their lives. A massive fire broke out in a three-storey residential-cum-commercial building in outer Delhi’s Kirari area, killing nine people, including three children. Fourteen years after the Uphaar tragedy, a fire broke out at a meeting for transgenders in Nand Nagri, where around 10,000 people had gathered, killing 14 and injuring about 30.
In July 2017, four members of a family, including two children, died of suffocation and injured two others while trying to escape a fire in a four-storey building in the Dilshad Garden area early in the morning. A day before the accident, the family celebrated the birthday of their 12-year-old daughter.
The girl died when she was trying to escape from the fire along with her father, grandfather and younger brother. The next year, another major fire broke out at a firecracker storage unit in Bawana, killing 17 people, including 10 women.
In the same year, five people, including three minors, lost their lives in two separate fires in North West Delhi’s Kohat Enclave and Shahdara’s Mansarovar Park. In April 2018, a fire broke out in a building in Kohat Enclave, killing a couple and their two children. A few days later, a massive fire in Shahdara burnt 300 huts and took the life of a girl.
In November 2018, a fire broke out at a factory in central Delhi’s Karol Bagh, killing four people and injuring one. In February 2019, a massive fire broke out in the early hours of a four-storey hotel in Karol Bagh, killing at least 17 guests, including two persons, who jumped from the building in a desperate attempt to save themselves .
In August the same year, six people, including three children, were killed and 13 injured when a massive fire broke out in a building in southeast Delhi’s Zakir Nagar area early in the morning. In November 2019, a massive fire broke out at a footwear factory in Narela, killing a security guard and a laborer. The body of the security guard was found after the fire was doused, but the charred body of the second victim was recovered four days after the fire broke out.
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