A regular Saturday morning at the IndiaMart office in Ghaziabad turned into a nightmare for the 11 employees present in the building, with only six of them surviving the fire which broke out at 10 am.
The fire, sparked by a short circuit, suffocated four employees to death. The remaining seven attempted to escape by jumping out of a window.
Among them was Piyush Goel, who had joined the company just five days ago. As he was trying to jump from the window, he slipped and fell on his head, dying on the spot.
Of the employees who died of suffocation, Puneet Mishra and Ritam Dwivedi were assistant managers, while Chandra Prakash Tyagi was a design coordinator.
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The fourth, Hemant Pratap Singh, was a 21-year-old office boy. A few hours after the incident, his friend arrived to collect his things — a black bag with several partly charred papers and pamphlets inside it.
“He was very nice. If he heard someone was in trouble, he would do everything he could to help them. I met him through a friend when I was suffering from depression and he helped me. It is mostly because of him that I recovered,” he said.
Puneet (26) hailed from Lucknow, and had been married for less than a year. His colleagues remember him as a “good-looking man” who was “very fascinated by the internet, media and technology”.
Ritam (25) lived in Model Town, Ghaziabad. He was going to get married in September. “He was very friendly and loved films. Animated movies were his favorite,” said Prashant Sharma, his colleague who survived the fire with an injured foot.
The fifth victim, Chandra Prakash Tyagi, had been working as a design coordinator for over a year.
“He was very down to earth, and a dedicated employee. Even if he was assigned difficult projects, his work would always be of the highest quality,” recalled Sharma.