Nine workers were injured after a fire broke out inside a nail polish manufacturing factory in Bawana industrial area on Friday morning, police said.
The nine injured were taken to two different hospitals in outer and central Delhi. Police have registered a case and arrested the owner of the unit.
A doctor at LNJP hospital, where six of the injured were taken for treatment, said: “The condition of one of the patients is critical. The others are out of danger for now but it is difficult to say in such cases how they will respond to treatment. They have sustained severe burn injuries.”
According to the Delhi Fire Service, the factory was operating without a no-objection certificate (NOC).
The DFS said they got information about the fire around 2.30 am, after which more than 20 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. “When the fire spread, several drums containing solvents exploded. Firefighters had a tough time accessing the factory because of this,” said Chief Fire Officer (DFS) Atul Garg.
DCP (Outer North) Gaurav Sharma said local police also joined the rescue work.
Workers said they were sleeping on the third floor of the factory when smoke started into their room.
Jaggi (27), one of the injured men, told The Indian Express, “I called my employer on his mobile phone. The others started to panic and we tried to run. Then a wall exploded… that’s the last thing I remember.”
Pappu, who also suffered injuries, said he was responsible for tasks such as filing thinner in cans. He said the factory’s owner did not provide them with basic safety equipment such as masks. The workers were paid a salary ranging from Rs 10,000-12,000.
DFS has claimed that the fire broke out from the exhaust fan due to a short circuit, and spread throughout the factory.
In June last year, a blaze at an illegal firecracker packaging unit in Bawana industrial area had claimed 17 lives.
At the time, The Indian Express had reported about how a majority of factories in the area operated with impunity, with scant regard for norms.