Seventeen people were killed and two injured in a massive blaze at a firecracker storage unit in outer Delhi's Bawana industrial area on Saturday evening.
The fire, which started at the storage unit on the ground floor of a two-storey building, ripped through the structure. Ten women and seven men were killed, an official said, noting that a man and woman have been injured.
The police also confirmed 17 people were killed and said an FIR has been registered. An investigation is on to ascertain the cause of the blaze.
The Delhi Fire Services received a call about the fire at the factory around 6.20 pm and 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, the fire department said, adding the blaze has been brought under control.
GC Mishra, Director, Delhi Fire Service, said the building comprised a basement, ground floor and two upper floors.
"One body was recovered from the basement, three from the ground floor and 13 from the first floor. One person sustained fractures after he jumped from the second floor to save himself," he said.
Mishra said the fire was doused by 9.20 pm but search and rescue operations were underway. "We are taking no chance. We don't have a definite number of people who were in the building when the fire broke out," he said.
The police said the people were either charred or got choked to death.
North Delhi Mayor Preety Agarwal rushed to the spot, a senior NDMC official said. "I received information about the incident on phone at around 9 pm and we immediately rushed to the spot. Situation is under control now," the Mayor said.
— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2018
Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish over the killing of 17 people in the tragedy.
"Deeply anguished by the fire at a factory in Bawana. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. May those who are injured recover quickly," the PM said.
Deeply anguished by the fire at a factory in Bawana. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. May those who are injured recover quickly: PM Narendra Modi (File pic) pic.twitter.com/HT78BzSr7F— ANI (@ANI) January 20, 2018
Delhi Minister Satyendar Jain informed that the government has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
"Learnt about a serious fire incident in a private factory at Bawana. Several casualties reported. Monitoring the situation. Ordered enquiry," he tweeted.
Reaching Bawana ...— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 20, 2018
News agency ANI reported that Union Health Minister JP Nadda has directed Health Secretary to provide immediate assistance to victims of Bawana fire tragedy and also asked AIIMS trauma centre to be on alert.
With PTI Inputs