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Udyog Nagar factory fire: Extreme heat, unstable structure hamper police ops to find 6 missing

Around 8 am on Monday, Delhi Fire Services had rushed to the spot with 33 fire tenders. While six workers were rescued, six remain missing, according to families of labourers employed there.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 24, 2021 7:57:41 am
A firefighter tries to douse a fire at a shoe factory at Udyog Nagar in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

Two days after a fire broke out at a shoe factory in Outer Delhi’s Udyog Nagar, police said they are unable to carry out a search operation for the missing persons due to “extreme heat” and the building being unstable.

Around 8 am Monday, Delhi Fire Services had rushed to the spot with 33 fire tenders. While six workers were rescued, six remain missing, according to families of labourers employed there.

DCP (Outer) Parvinder Singh said the building has poor ventilation and only one staircase. The owner of the factory is on the run and no arrest has been made so far, he said. Police don’t have a record of the people who worked there.

On Wednesday, police said their teams, firemen and forensic science lab personnel couldn’t enter the building as it is “dangerous”.

A senior DFS official said, “The building was about to collapse because of the fire. After dousing the blaze, it took us several hours to carry out cooling operations as several parts of the building were collapsing and the weather was bad. The building isn’t accessible now. The structure may collapse if we carry out a search operation for the six missing persons, but our teams are trying.”

While officials planned to conduct DNA tests on the remains found inside the building, police said FSL teams haven’t collected any samples so far.

DCP Singh said, “The structure is unsafe and FSL teams haven’t visited the building. We have no update on the missing persons. No bodies were found during the initial search operation. We suspect remains of the deceased are at two spots inside the building that are highly burnt.”

Delhi Fire Services Chief Atul Garg had earlier told The Indian Express that the blaze spread to the upper floors of the three-storeyed building, destroying materials such as shoes, plastic bags and boxes. MCD officials have also declared the building dangerous.

Police said they are waiting for MCD officials and firemen to ascertain a way to enter the structure.

The missing people have been identified as Abhishek, Neeraj, Shamshad, Vikram, Raju, and Ajay. Officials said this is based on information provided by families who approached the police and filed missing person reports.

Police teams are, meanwhile, conducting raids to arrest the owner, who has been booked IPC section 308 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).

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