Extreme heat, weak structure hinder probe

Firefighting operation under way at a shoe factory at Udyog Nagar in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Extreme heat and vulnerable structure of the two-storey building caused hindrance in carrying out investigation for the third consecutive day at a shoe godown in west Delhi, where a massive fire broke out on Monday, police said.

Firefighters have identified two spots inside the building where suspected charred human remains have been spotted. But only DNA sampling will help investigators in ascertaining the identity of those six workers who are still reported missing, they said.

6 fire tenders stationed

Six fire tenders are still at the spot conducting search operations, said an official, adding that samples are yet to be collected from the building by the forensic experts for further examination.

“The temperature inside the building is still extreme. Only the firemen have been able to get inside yet. They have informed us that charred remains suspected to be of humans have been spotted by them at two spots inside the building. Our main concern is to get the samples lifted from the spot for further examination so that we can get DNA profiling done to ascertain and establish the identity of the missing men,” a senior police officer said.

The officer said another hindrance is the structure of the building, which is “weak”. The structure is highly unstable and the terrace of the top floor of the two storey-building has already caved in. “Our staffers and forensic experts have not been able to enter the building yet. Our police teams had access to limited areas but again due to extreme temperature, the samples are yet to be lifted from the spot,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) Parvinder Singh said: “Our teams are conducting raids and efforts are on to nab Pankaj Garg(32), owner of the company. He has been absconding since the day of incident along with his father, who is the director of the company.”

FSL team to visit today

Garg, a resident of Pitampura has been into shoe business for a long time as his extended family members also deal in the same trade, the officer said. Forensic experts from Forensic Science Laboratory, Rohini are likely to visit the spot on Thursday as they still have not been able to enter the building because of the high temperature, police said.

The three-member team of from FSL, Rohini, which visited the spot on Tuesday, could only carry out photography and videography of the building from outside.

The fire broke out on Monday at the shoe godown in Udyog Nagar, and 35 fire tenders and around 140 fire personnel were pressed into service to douse the blaze.

The six men reported to be missing have been identified as brother duo Sonu and Vikram, Shamshad, Abhishek, Ajay and Neeraj, said the police. Prima facie, electric short-circuit is suspected to be the reason but only a detailed examination will reveal exact cause of the fire, the senior police officer said.

The building also did not have any fire safety equipment in place and was heavily jammed with highly combustible materials due to which the fire spread fast, according to fire officials. The building has been declared dangerous by the area’s civic body on Monday following the blaze, they said.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 3:49:25 AM |

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