Day after godown fire, human remains found

Firefighting operation under way at the godown in Udyog Nagar. File   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

A day after a fire broke out at the shoe godown in Outer Delhi’s Udyog Nagar and six workers were reported to be missing, the Delhi Fire Service found on Tuesday charred human remains on the first floor of the building.

The police said the remains will be sent for DNA profiling to ascertain the identity even as a search operation is under way to trace the six workers.

They added that it is yet to be ascertained if the remains found belong to more than one person.

The fire broke out on Monday at the building where shoes were assembled and packed for sale. As many as 35 fire tenders and around 140 fire personnel were pressed into service to douse the blaze.

The men reported to be missing have been identified as Sonu, Vikram, Shamshad, Abhishek, Ajay and Neeraj, said the police. Sonu and his brother Vikram had come to Delhi from Ghazipur for work, their family members told the police.

Owner absconding

Meanwhile, the godown owner Pankaj Garg and his father are absconding, police said.

“There is extreme heat inside the building, causing hindrance in the examination. After the remains are retrieved, they will be sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Rohini for DNA profiling. The samples will be collected from the family members of those reported missing for DNA matching, which will help us in ascertaining the identity,” said DCP (Outer) Parvinder Singh.

During a search operation at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Assistant Divisional Officer Rajesh Kumar Shukla also sustained severe injuries as he slipped from the staircase of the building, said a senior fire official. He sustained injuries in his ribs and is undergoing treatment at Balaji Action hospital, he said.

A three-member team of forensic experts from FSL visited the spot on Tuesday for an examination, but they could not carry out their operation due to the extreme heat inside the building. “Once the temperature reduces, our team will visit the spot again,” said an FSL official.

Prima facie, an electric short-circuit is suspected to be the reason but only a detailed examination will reveal the exact cause of the fire. The terrace of the two-storey building has collapsed and due to extreme heat and water used to douse the blaze, the structure of the building remains weak, a senior police officer said. The police said they have written to the civic authority concerned seeking details about the building’s plan and its legality.

No fire safety

The building did not have any fire safety equipment in place and was heavily jammed with highly combustible materials due to which the fire spread faster, according to fire officials.

“We are scanning the building and its adjacent premises. Our teams have managed to enter some parts of the building,” the officer said.

The building has been declared dangerous by the area's civic body on Monday following the blaze.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 11:31:03 AM |

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