A firefighter was killed after a battery warehouse in west Delhi’s Peera Garhi caught fire and the structure collapsed following an explosion.
Several people, including fire brigade personnel, were feared trapped after a building collapsed. Two firefighters and a worker were rescued. They suffered minor injuries. The police said 14 others are injured.
Initial reports state a fire broke out early morning, after receiving a phone call at 4:30 am the fire department dispatched seven fire tenders to the location.
At 9am, an explosion suspected to be an overheated battery ripped through the rear of the building, bringing down the structure, trapping several people including the personnel.
Thirty-five fire tenders as well as the NDRF are at the spot to carry on rescue operations.
The firefighter who died in the fire was identified as Amit Balyan, 27. He was posted in the Kirti Nagar branch of the Department of Delhi Fire Services. His body was recovered under the building’s debris 5 to 6 hours into the firefighting operation.
Black smoke was seen billowing out from the warehouse. Rescuers said they advanced with extreme caution as the smoke from the batteries was toxic as they removed inflammable material from the building.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted about the incident, saying he was closely monitoring the situation and also condoled the death of the firefighter.
“Very sad to hear this. I’m closely monitoring the situation. The fire personnel are trying their best. Praying for the safety of those trapped,” Mr Kejriwal said.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal tweeted, “Deeply anguished over news of death of fire operator Amit Balyan Amit along with his team members fought bravely to save lives of many people. I salute his bravery My sincere condolences to his family members. All possible assistance to be extended to the injured & bereaved family.”
Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain also visited the spot and ordered a magisterial enquiry into the matter
The incident is the latest in a series of fires in the national capital. On December 8, a massive blaze ripped through Delhi’s Anaj Mandi that left 43 labourers dead and many others injured.