Fire guts shoe godown, four workers missing

, Delhi Fire Service officials said. At least six workers are feared missing in the massive fire that broke out at a godown of shoes. Photo: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR /The Hindu   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Four workers are suspected to be trapped inside a shoe godown in west Delhi’s Udyog Vihar where a massive fire broke out on Monday morning, police said.

Search and rescue operations at the two-storey building are under way.

Earlier in the day, the police and firefighters received a call about the blaze in a factory. During an enquiry, officials said, it came to light that the building houses a godown where shoes are assembled and packed for sale.

Initially, 10 workers were trapped inside the godown.

While four of them managed to come out safely, two others were rescued later.

They had minor burn injuries and were given first aid.

The remaining four workers were untraceable till Monday evening.

“We got a PCR call about a fire in a shoe factory in Udyog Nagar at 8.56 a.m. Twenty-four fire tenders were sent to the spot and 15 more vehicles were pressed into service later,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) Parvinder Singh.

The police suspect the fire started from the first floor of the building and spread to other floors. The exact cause of the fire is not known yet but a short-circuit is likely to be the reason, they added.

He said the godown was shut at the time of the incident. The operations usually start around 8.30 a.m. but the workers had arrived earlier. However, police said, no major injuries have been reported in the incident so far.

Case against owner

The owner of the godown has been identified as Pankaj Garg. A case has been registered in connection with the incident.

Delhi Fire Services officials said over 35 fire tenders and around 140 fire personnel were eventually brought in to control the blaze.

“The fire is under control and cooling operation is under way. The building has been declared ‘dangerous’ by the civic body,” said DFS director Atul Garg.

Two CATS ambulances are also at the spot to attend to any emergencies.

No fire safety equipment

The building did not have any fire safety equipment and was packed with highly combustible materials.

“We were not given correct information in the first place. We were not informed that workers were trapped inside. It was only after two hours into the operation, we found out that there were people trapped inside,” said Mr. Garg, adding that those trapped could have been saved in time if correct information was shared with them in a timely manner.

“While the fire has been doused, because of the heat and smoke, it’s become tough to trace those reported missing,” Mr. Garg added.

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Printable version | Aug 6, 2021 6:23:06 AM |

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