17 killed in fire at Delhi's Bawana: Police arrests factory owner; Arvind Kejriwal govt announces Rs 5 lakh compensation

The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested a man in connection to the massive blaze at a firecracker storage unit in outer Delhi's Bawana industrial area, which killed 17 people and injured two others.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal government ordered an inquiry into the fire incident, which started at the storage unit on the ground floor of a two-storey building, before ripping through the structure.

The chief minister told IANS that the matter will be fully probed on how the licence was given, who gave the licence and how the incident happened.

Manoj Jain, who was apprehended by the Delhi Police told that he took the factory premises on rent and was running it alone. Earlier, the police had said that Jain was running the unit in partnership with one Lalit Goel.

Ten women and seven men were killed in the incident and a man and woman were injured. The two injured — Roop Prakash (in his 20s) and Sunita (in her 40s) — have been admitted to a hospital.

The police said an FIR has been registered and the accused has been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible material.

"Chinese firecrackers used to be packed in the building... Only packing of firecrackers used to take place, not manufacturing," Prakash, one of the survivors, told NDTV. The police said that they were verifying the claim.

 17 killed in fire at Delhis Bawana: Police arrests factory owner; Arvind Kejriwal govt announces Rs 5 lakh compensation

Reprtesentational image. Reuters

"Investigation is on. Owners have been identified and will be questioned about the licensing aspect and negligence," A Delhi Police official said. While the fire department said that the blaze occurred at a firecracker storage unit, the police is yet to confirm this.

Meanwhile, Kejriwal announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of the deceased. "A compensation of Rs five lakh each will be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives and Rs one lakh each to the two injured persons," he told reporters on Saturday.

The Delhi Fire Services had received a call about the blaze at the factory around 6.20 pm and 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The fire was brought under control by 9.20 pm.

GC Mishra, Director, Delhi Fire Service, said it was a firecracker storage unit and the building comprised a basement, ground floor and two upper floors.

"One body was recovered from the basement, three from the ground floor and 13 from the first floor. One person sustained fractures after he jumped from the second floor to save himself," he said.

"We are taking no chance. We don't have a definite number of people who were in the building when the fire broke out," Mishra had told PTI.

The police said the people were either charred or got choked to death.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jan 21, 2018 09:27:08 IST