At least 43 people have been killed in a fire in a four-storey building in New Delhi’s Anaj Mandi area in the wee hours of Sunday reportedly as a result of a short circuit. Around 50 people have been injured in the incident.

30 fire engines were pressed into service to control the fire. The fire department received a call about the fire at 5.22 am. The fire tenders were rushed to the spot immediately.

Dr. Kishore Kumar, Medical Superintendent of LNJP Hospital, where the injured have been rushed, said, “14 people have died. A team of doctors is treating the injured.” Some of those injured have also been rushed to Hindu Rao Hospital.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Sunil Chaudhary told media persons that the fire has been extinguished. Relief continues. There are 30 fire engines engaged in the operation.

Large number of fire personnel are present at the scene and are engaged in evacuating the stranded people. Black smoke was blowing from the windows of the house, indicating that there was a huge fire inside.

Magisterial Enquiry

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “It’s a massive tragedy, over 40 people have lost their lives. We have ordered a magisterial enquiry into the matter, none responsible will be spared.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his anguish and termed the incident “horrific”.

The Prime Minister tweeted: “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.”

Congress President Sonia Gandhi also expressed her shock and dismay over the fire accident and loss of lives.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too reacted to the incident. Gandhi, in a tweet in Hindi, said: “I extend my deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wish for the speedy recovery of those injured,” he said.

“The building did not have fire clearance from the Delhi Fire Service and no fire safety equipment was found installed in the premises as required”, Atul Garg, Delhi Fire Service confirmed.

The owner of the factory in Anaj Mandi, where the fire killed 43 people, is currently on the run and an FIR has been registered against him.

Rehan, the owner of the building against whom a case has been registered under section 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, is currently on the run.

Around 62 people were taken out of the factory that caught fire on Sunday morning, of which 43 have been declared dead.  While 34 have been confirmed dead in Lok Nayak Hospital and nine in Lady Hardinge Hospital.