ALL NEWS

At least 43 killed in fire that swept factory as workers slept inside

Dec 8, 2019, 10:25 AM

NEW DELHI, INDIA (CNN) — At least 43 people have died in a major blaze that broke out in a factory in India’s capital New Delhi, police and fire department officials told CNN.

The fire swept through the five-story building in the early hours of Sunday, as laborers and factory workers were asleep inside. Some died due to asphyxiation, officials said.

“The problem was the smoke — all the windows and doors were shut and there was dense smoke inside,” said Sunil Choudhary, deputy chief fire officer.

“No one could get out. There was an iron door and it was locked and people were brought out only after we broke the door open. It had become a toxic chamber.”

An eyewitness said some workers had tried to escape from a terrace, but it was locked.

“There are no proper ways to climb or get down, there is no fire safety, there is nothing,” Mohammad Samar said, adding that this was not the first blaze at the site, which was a plastic factory that manufactured toys.

Samar said a number of small, unauthorized factories had been renting out space in the building, and that the complete lack of safety provisions was widely known.

Another eyewitness, who helped with rescue efforts, said he had seen boys trying to escape from the factory’s roof, while others desperately crowded near sealed windows.

“I saw that the boys, who were standing there on the roof, they started screaming … calling out to me … saying ‘Mullah sir please save me,'” Mohammad Manzur said.

Avtar Singh, an assistant division officer for the fire department, said that more than 60 people had been evacuated from the building and the injured were transported to three local hospitals.

Fire officials said they had struggled to reach the factory in the city’s old quarter, a tangle of narrow, busy lanes lined with manufacturing units.

Thirty fire engines were stationed near the site, but only one managed to get to the building and extinguish the blaze through a relay system, Singh said.

The fire, which officials say was sparked by an electrical fault, took almost three hours to put out.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the fire “extremely horrific” in a statement on Twitter.

“My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones,” Modi said. “Wishing the injured a quick recovery. Authorities are providing all possible assistance at the site of the tragedy.”

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Former astronaut and Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored Saturday with an art installation tribute ...
Mark Jones

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn to be honored with art tribute on Saturday

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored with an art installation tribute Saturday at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
21 hours ago
A west valley police car is pictured. Police are investigating a hit and run...
Mark Jones

Fire in West Valley City home contained to one room in basement

A fire inside a West Valley City home Friday was contained to one room in the basement, according to fire officials on scene.
21 hours ago
Authorities in Washington County are investigating the discovery of the body of a 36-year-old man e...
Mark Jones

Staff member at school in southern Utah arrested for alleged sexual abuse

A 22-year-old staff member of a school in southern Utah was arrested Thursday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office for alleged sexual abuse.
21 hours ago
President John F. Kennedy signs the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Cente...
Curt Gresseth

Is forcing the homeless into treatment the answer?

NYC Mayor Eric Adams has announced a program that involuntarily treats homeless people in "psychiatric crisis." A BYU psychologist weighs the New York approach against the ethics of patient autonomy.
21 hours ago
NBA Ice Buckets...
Devin Oldroyd

NBA fans invited to show “ice in their veins” at NBA Ice Buckets challenge

The NBA and Utah Jazz invite you to play NBA Ice Buckets, a free-to-play indoor basketball shooting challenge at Trolley Square.
21 hours ago
Both Utah rail workers and Utah farmers expressed relief that a threatened rail strike was averted ...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Union Pacific, Utah farmers, relieved threat of strike has passed

Union Pacific Railroad representatives said claims about days off, made by workers threatening to strike, were outright false.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
At least 43 killed in fire that swept factory as workers slept inside