New Delhi: A day after a major fire in a building in outer Delhi’s Mundka killed 27, distraught relatives were still looking for their loved ones, with authorities reporting that 29 people were still missing, news agency PTI reported.
To identify the bodies, the forensic team will collect the DNA samples of the deceased.
The death toll might rise to 30, according to the fire brigade, after burned human remains were discovered in the structure during cooling operations on Saturday morning. A hospital here is treating twelve injured people, PTI reported.
According to the fire brigade, the four-story structure, which lacked a fire safety certificate, had single access and exit point.
“The building had a single escape route which is why there were so many casualties. Twenty-seven people have died,” Chief Fire Officer Atul Garg was quoted by PTI in its report.
He believes the fire was started by an explosion in an air conditioner.
Garg noted that it was impossible to determine if the remains discovered on Saturday morning belonged to one or multiple people.
Harish Goel and his brother Varun Goel, the proprietors of a CCTV camera and router manufacturing and assembling firm whose office is suspected of starting the fire, have been detained, according to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) Sameer Sharma.
So far, seven of the 27 deceased have been recognized, according to the DCP: Tania Bhushan, Mohini Pal, Yashoda Devi, Ranju Devi, Vishal, Drishti, and Kailash Jyani.
On Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia paid a visit to the site. The chief minister offered compensation of Rs 10 lakh for each of the deceased’s family and Rs 50,000 for those injured in the fire, which began on the first level of the structure.
Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal expressed “deep pain” over the deaths and asked for prompt action to avert similar tragedies in the future. He also expressed sympathy to the grieving families.
On Friday night, anxious relatives of the missing flocked to the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, expecting to learn more about them.
Ajit Tiwari, one of them, stated that his sister Monika (21) had only recently begun working for the firm.
“She received her first salary on Thursday. We got to know about the fire at 5 pm, but had no idea that the blaze broke out at her office building. When she did not return home by 7 pm, we started looking for her,” he was quoted by PTI in its report.
Monika resides in Agar Nagar, Delhi, with her two brothers and sister. She is from the Uttar Pradesh district of Gonda.
Another mother was spotted searching frantically for her elder daughter, who also works at the CCTV camera packaging facility.
“My daughter Pooja has been working at the CCTV camera packaging unit for the last three months. We live in Mubarakpur and got to know about the incident at 9 pm. She has a cut mark below her left eye. We are looking for her at various hospitals. She is the sole breadwinner of our family of four. Her two younger sisters study in a school,” she said.
DNA Samples To Be Taken To Identify Bodies
Deepa Verma, Director of the Forensic Science Laboratory in Rohini, stated that two teams, comprising top specialists, are on the site.
“They will collect samples for the purpose of identification and collection,” she said, adding that these will be handed over to the investigating officer.
Because charred human remains have been discovered, she believes a forensic DNA analysis will be performed to determine the identify of the dead.
According to S K Gupta, the head of crime scene investigation, body remains at fire scenes are extremely difficult to discover, collect, and handle.
“Burned exhibits like body tissues at the scene are often modified to a similar appearance. Bones, in particular, become discoloured, brittle, and highly fragmented,” Gupta said.
(With Inputs From PTI)