Delhi blaze: Survivors, victims’ kin recount horrors

The survivors of the Delhi blaze recounted their lucky escape from the ill-fated building but for many, the relief was dampened by the loss of their near and dear ones.

Published: 09th December 2019 11:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2019 11:47 AM   |  A+A-

Family members of victims and media personnel gather outside the emergency ward of Lady Hardinge Hospital | Pti

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The survivors of the Delhi blaze recounted their lucky escape from the ill-fated building but for many, the relief was dampened by the loss of their near and dear ones.Firoz Khan, 32, who worked at a cap manufacturing unit on the third floor, was among those who managed to escape. He said he woke up to find the room he was sleeping in full of smoke.

“I alerted the other workers sleeping near me and four or five of us rushed out as we were close to the door,” he said, adding that many others in the room were trapped and may not have survived.
Wajid Ali from Samastipur in Bihar was inconsolable as he had just seen the charred body of his cousin Mohammed Atamul at the Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital and feared the worst as was trying to trace his brothers Sajid (23) and Wazir (17). “I do not have the courage to inform my parents back home about my brothers,” said Ali, who worked in a bag-making unit in the same area.
Ten victims were brought to the hospital in central Delhi, nine of them dead, while one survivor was critical and in ICU.

Mohammed Arman, who works at a furniture factory in Mayapuri, was showing hospital authorities the pictures of brothers 14-year-old Mohammed Sahmat and 13-year-old Mohamed Mahbub, who were present in the factory during the fire. Mahbub was among those brought dead at the hospital. His uncle Mohammed Hakim, a rickshawpuller in Hari Nagar area of West Delhi, broke down on seeing the
body of his nephew in the mortuary.

“My brother Naveen (18) works in a handbag manufacturing unit in the Anaj Mandi area. I got a call from his friends informing that he has been injured in the incident. I have no clue which hospital he has been taken to,” a worried Manoj said, hoping to find his brother alive.

Forensic team to probe
A FSL team analysed the building, and the possible places from where the fire could have started but could not collect any samples due to the rescue work by the fire department. The team did the first visit and the forensic evidence can only be collected after the fire is doused, Laboratory Director Deepa Verma said. “Scientifically, the articles can only be collected after the fire has completely ended and we can get access to the rooms,” she said.


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