Delhi Fires Claim 55 Lives, Injure 300 in 2024

   

NEW DELHI: Fire has taken 55 lives and injured more than 300 people in the national capital so far this year, according to the official data revealed on Monday.

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According to the data by Delhi Fire Services (DFS), 16 people were killed in fire in January, another 16 in February, 12 in March, four in April, and seven till May 26.

Fire incidents led to 51 injuries in January, 42 in February, 62 in March, 78 in April, and 71 till May 26. From January 1 to May 26, the DFS received 8,912 fire-related calls.

According to the data, 36 people had lost their lives during the same period in 2023. “The number of fire calls increased to 32.26 per cent this year. According to the data, a total 6,436 calls related to the fire were received from January 1 to May 26, last year, but this year the number has gone up by more than 32 per cent with 8,912 fire related calls during the same period,” an official of the Delhi Fire Services said.

“Last year 36 people had lost their lives, this year total 55 people have so far lost their lives,” the official added. On Sunday, six newborn died after a massive fire broke out at a private children’s hospital in east Delhi’s Vivek Vihar.

The blaze broke out at the Baby Care New Born Hospital at around 11.30 pm on Saturday and soon spread to two other adjacent buildings.

Sixteen fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the blaze and a massive rescue operation went underway to bring out 13 children from the hospital. Six of them died.

Police had said that one child had already died before the fire broke out. DFS chief Atul Garg told PTI Videos, “The neonatal hospital has no fire NOC and has not even proper fire combat arrangements. Besides that, oxygen cylinders were also kept there which had exploded.”

“Be it NOC required or not, everyone must ensure proper fire safety arrangements in all types of buildings. Installing sprinklers is one of the best ways to combat fire initially and to inform firefighters,” he said.

The incident also drew the attention of President Droupadi Murmu, who prayed for the babies and condoled with the bereaved parents.

Police on Sunday arrested the owner of the hospital which was being operated with an expired licence. It also did not have qualified doctors and had no clearance from the fire department.

According to the FIR copy accessed by PTI, police when inspected the spot, found 27 oxygen cylinders lying inside and outside the premises of the two-storey hospital building.

The Delhi Police booked two doctors, Dr Naveen and Dr Akash, under IPC sections 336 (act endangering life and personal safety of others), 304A (causing death by negligence), 304 (culpable homicide), and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide).

“Teams from forensic science, and crime branch and local police had visited the hospital and collected samples to know actual reason behind the fire,” a senior police officer said requesting anonymity.

On the same day, three people died in a fire in a four-storey residential building in Krishna Nagar area of east Delhi. On February 15, 11 people died in an explosion and subsequent blaze in a paint factory at Dayalpur market in outer Delhi’s Alipur. Four people were injured in the incident.

The charred bodies of the 11 victims, one of them a woman, were recovered from the factory, which doubled as a chemical godown.

The fire, which was preceded by a blast, had spread to nearby buildings, including a drug rehabilitation centre and eight shops.

In another incident in February, an 83-year-old woman died and her granddaughter sustained injuries after they jumped off the fourth floor of a residential building in southwest Delhi’s Dwarka when a fire broke out in their apartment.

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