After 43 people lost their lives in a tragic fire that broke out in Delhi's Anaj Mandi, Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday, December 8, expressed sorrow over the incident. Taking to microblogging website Twitter, Pranab Mukherjee wished the victims a swift recovery and offered condolences to the affected families.
Deeply pained at the tragic news of a massive fire killing and injuring unsuspecting people in Delhi. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved. I pray for the speedy recovery of those injured and hope that the authorities are doing the needful. #CitizenMukherjee— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) December 8, 2019
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his grief and described the incident as 'horrific' and prayed for the family of those killed in the fire. He stated that the authorities are providing all possible assistance at the site of the tragedy.
The fire in Delhi’s Anaj Mandi on Rani Jhansi Road is extremely horrific. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. Wishing the injured a quick recovery. Authorities are providing all possible assistance at the site of the tragedy.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 8, 2019
Earlier in the day, Delhi Police filed an FIR on the owners and other renters who occupied the factory premises. Delhi CP has transferred the case to the Crime branch. Forensic investigation is currently underway. Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police Monika Bharadwaj has confirmed that the main owner of the factory - Rehan is absconding. NDRF team too is currently on-site to help with rescue operations.
Briefing the media on the situation, Delhi police said, "There were a lot of plastic materials which were hindering our rescue efforts. Due to the rising smoke from these plastics, most of the deaths have occurred due to asphyxiation. When the fire department and Delhi police tried to rescue them, two fire officers and 2 police officers have been hurt in the operation due to the smoke."
Delhi Police stated that a major fire broke out at Anaj Mandi in Delhi in the wee hours of Sunday morning - around 5:20 AM, killing almost 43 people. While over 60 people have been rescued, police sources state that most victims have lost consciousness due to rising smog. The factory mainly produced plastic items housed several labourers and their families - leading to higher burn injuries, state police. While over 30 fire tenders have been rushed to the spot, the rescue operation is underway. All victims who have been rescued by fire personnel (most manually) have been shifted to LNJP and Lady Hardinge Hospitals. Initial probe points towards short circuit as the cause of the fire, report sources.