A massive fire broke out at a paint factory in outer Delhi’s Alipur area on Thursday evening, leading to 11 deaths and leaving 4 others injured. The blaze erupted around 5:25pm at a paint and chemical godown located in Alipur’s Dayalpur Market.

What Caused the Fire

According to Delhi Police officials, the fire was preceded by a powerful blast, likely caused by the chemicals stored on the premises. The resulting explosion led to a rapidly spreading fire that overtook the factory and adjacent buildings.

Rescue and Response

At least 22 fire tenders were rushed to the location after emergency services received calls for help around 5:30pm. Firefighters found towering flames and thick black smoke billowing out of the structure on arrival at the scene. The operation to douse the fire went on for over three hours before it was finally contained around 9pm. Cooling operations continued late into the night.

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Searching for Survivors

Rescue teams combed through the charred debris of the ravaged structure in search of survivors after the fire was controlled. They recovered 11 burnt bodies that were transported to Babu Jagjeevan Ram Hospital. The deceased victims remain unidentified until the time of writing. 4 people with burn injuries were rescued from the site and shifted to Raja Harish Chandra Hospital for treatment.

Impact on Nearby Areas

Not only was the paint factory entirely destroyed, but the explosion and resulting fire also spread to surrounding residential areas and shops. Some of the injured were locals whose homes or workplaces caught fire due to the blast’s force. The intensity of the flames prevented them from escaping unhurt.

Aftermath and Investigation

Police have launched an investigation to ascertain the cause of the initial explosion that triggered this tragedy. For now, the use or mishandling of paint chemicals is the suspected culprit behind the blast and subsequent loss of life and property. Teams have been formed to look into matters further.

The area around the factory continues to remain sealed as damage assessment and cooling efforts continue. The number of casualties may increase as rescue operations progress. Locals remain in a state of shock at the magnitude of the accident in their neighborhood.

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Authorities Yet to Confirm Victims’ Identities

The identities of those killed in the Delhi fire are yet to be confirmed by authorities, pending notification of next of kin. The bodies recovered by fire and rescue crews remain unclaimed at the hospital. Meanwhile, the treatment of those injured in the blaze continues in other healthcare facilities.

Traumatic Incident for Firefighters

Fire department officials described a terrifying scene on arrival – the entire structure was engulfed in flames shooting high into the sky, and the air was filled with smoke. Despite the challenges posed by chemical fires, the brave actions of rescue teams saved lives while putting their own at risk. Tragically, a firefighter sustained injuries during rescue efforts.

The Delhi fire services deserve widespread appreciation for their prompt and persistent efforts in responding to this emergency. However, questions remain on whether lapses in safety regulation enabled this catastrophe that has deeply impacted many families.

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