After a search operation that lasted 72 hours, the bodies of two firemen were pulled out from the debris of the plastic factory that had caught fire Wednesday evening in outer Delhi’s Narela industrial area. The bodies of the firemen, Sunil Kumar (40) and Manjet Dagar (35), were found at 3 pm Sunday.
As 40 fire tenders had tried to put out the blaze Wednesday, a boiler in the building had exploded at 9.45 pm, trapping the two firemen and two workers.
After more than 15 hours of search operations, the body of a worker at the factory, Sanjan (27), was found.
However, when the two firemen could not be found, the whole building was razed to start a renewed search.
National Disaster Response Force Assistant Commandant Vegraj Meena, who had replaced assistant commandant M Hussain Sunday, said the bodies were found next to each other towards the back side of the first floor area.
“The sniffer dogs were guiding us in a particular direction but they were not able to find the exact location. However, at 2.55 pm, we finally spotted the shoe of one of the victims. Half-an-hour later, we found the other one. It appears that after the explosion, a beam had fallen on them, trapping them inside,” said Meena.
He added that the rescue operation is still underway to find the fourth person, whose identity is still not known.
“There is a possibility that one more person is still trapped inside the debris. However, no one is able to verify the identity of the worker. We are continuing our search,” said Meena.
District Magistrate (north) Amit Satija said, “The bodies were partially charred when they were recovered.”
Sources said prima facie, the cause of death is asphyxiation. However, the exact cause will be ascertained after a postmortem examination, added the sources.
Director of Fire Services G C Mishra could not be reached for comments despite repeated attempts.