Indian police arrest 2 after a building fire kills 27 in New Delhi

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NEW DELHI (AP) – Police arrested two owners of a company that manufactures and sells security cameras after a massive fire They reportedly started in their office in a four-story commercial building in the Indian capital, killing 27 people and injuring 12 others, police and firefighters said Saturday.

The police have registered a case of guilty homocide not comparable to murder and criminal association punishable by life imprisonment or 10 years’ imprisonment.

The building did not have fire brigade clearance and was not equipped with fire fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers, said Atul Garg, director of fire services in Delhi.

Garg said the fire broke out on the first floor of the building on Friday evening and quickly spread to other areas where flammable plastic materials used to make equipment were stored, including security cameras and a large amount of cardboard used to make equipment. packaging.

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People examine the site of a fire in New Delhi, India on Saturday, May 14, 2022. A massive fire broke out on Friday night in a four-story commercial building in the Indian capital, killing more than two dozen people and leaving many more injured. the fire control room said. (AP Photo / Shonal Ganguly)
(AP Photo / Shonal Ganguly)

At least 50 people were rescued from the building, which mostly contains shops, the fire department said. The building is located in the Mundka area in western New Delhi.

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Fires are common in India, where building laws and safety regulations are often flooded by builders and residents. In 2019, a fire caused by an electrical short engulfed a building in New Delhi and killed 43 people.

A fire officer stands in a fire truck to help his colleagues put out a fire in a four-story building in New Delhi, India on Saturday, May 14, 2022. A huge fire broke out in a building. a four-story building in the Indian capital on Friday, killing at least 19 people and leaving several injured, the fire department control room said. Dozens of people were rescued from the commercial building, mainly shops, in the Mundka area of ​​western New Delhi. (Photo AP / Manish Swarup)

A fire officer stands in a fire truck to help his colleagues put out a fire in a four-story building in New Delhi, India on Saturday, May 14, 2022. A huge fire broke out in a building. a four-story building in the Indian capital on Friday, killing at least 19 people and leaving several injured, the fire department control room said. Dozens of people were rescued from the commercial building, mainly shops, in the Mundka area of ​​western New Delhi. (Photo AP / Manish Swarup)
(Photo AP / Manish Swarup)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was saddened by the loss of life and expressed his hope for the speedy recovery of the 12 injured who were hospitalized.

Harish Goel and his brother Varun Goe were first arrested for questioning and later arrested, the Press Trust of India reported, citing police officer Sameer Sharma.

Sachin Garg, a resident in the area, said the building only had an exit door and people trapped there had a hard time leaving quickly due to a crush. “They called ambulances and the firefighters used the crane buckets to save people,” she said.

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Satbir Lakra, another resident, said several men and women broke the glass walls and jumped to the ground floor.

Rescuers work on the scene of a fire in New Delhi, India on Saturday, May 14, 2022. A massive fire broke out on Friday evening in a four-story commercial building in the Indian capital, killing more than two dozen people and leaving many more injuries. the fire department control room said. (AP Photo / Shonal Ganguly)

Rescuers work on the scene of a fire in New Delhi, India on Saturday, May 14, 2022. A massive fire broke out on Friday evening in a four-story commercial building in the Indian capital, killing more than two dozen people and leaving many more injuries. the fire department control room said. (AP Photo / Shonal Ganguly)
(AP Photo / Shonal Ganguly)

The building is in a congested area with industrial units, and the fire engines took some time to reach the place, Garg said.

Twenty-seven fire engines put out the flames after fighting for more than five hours. A search operation continued overnight to look for anyone trapped in the rubble, the fire department control room said.

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The cause of the fire was not immediately clarified and is being investigated.

Garg said there were conflicting reports. Some claimed that the fire broke out after an air conditioner exploded and others said it was triggered by an electrical short.