Six workers missing in shoe factory fire in Delhi’s Udyog Nagar, owner on the run

A fire broke out at a shoe factory and godown in Outer Delhi’s Udyog Nagar on Monday morning.

While six workers were rescued, six remain missing. The building has been declared dangerous by MCD officials.

Police have filed a case against the owner, who is absconding, under IPC section 308 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

The fire broke out around 8 am and 23 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. After gauging the intensity, nine more were sent. Officials tried to douse the blaze first before entering the building to find those missing. It took hours before the fire was brought under control, around 6 pm. Until early evening, cooling operations were on as smoke was still coming out of the building.

Delhi Fire Services Chief Atul Garg said, “We received a call around 8.22 am and rushed with 33 fire tenders; the blaze had spread to the upper floors of the shoe factory. No casualties have been reported so far. The fire is completely under control now, while cooling and search operations continue. The building has been declared dangerous by the MCD.”

The missing people have been identified as Abhishek, Neeraj, Shamshad, Vikram, Raju and Ajay, said police.
DCP (Outer district) Parvinder Singh said, “Initially, 12 persons were trapped inside the building. We rescued four people, and after some time, rescued two more. Search operations are on to find the remaining six. Since the building was filled with shoes and slippers, the flames spread. It was brought under control after about six hours.”

An officer at the spot said they had to enter carefully as the fire was very intense and there were chances that the building might collapse. At first, a few firemen tried to enter the first floor using a ladder. Later in the afternoon, a skylift crane helped them reach the third floor. However, till evening, no bodies had been found.

While the cause of the blaze has still not been ascertained, fire officials suspect a short circuit.

The DCP said, “There was only one staircase and poor ventilation. The cause of the fire has not been ascertained yet. There were mostly flammable materials like plastic covers, shoe boxes; anything could have caused the fire.”

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