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Four people laundering clothes killed in central Delhi fire

PTI delhi India
Updated: 19-11-2018 20:07 IST

Four people died in a fire at an illegal workshop in central Delhi area Monday after one of the workers, a man of heavy build, got stuck at the exit door while escaping and blocked the route for others, firefighters said.

Police said the owner of the house, Ajay Khurana (45), has been arrested. A case under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) was registered, they said.

They said the workshop was being run illegally in a residential area.

They said six workers were ironing clothes on the first floor of the building which is located in a congested locality. The fire broke out when Ajit, 23, was putting a white solvent in a spraying machine and it spilled on the floor accidently, the police said.

Among the deceased, was a 55-year-old man, whose daughter was about to get married, and two women.

The firefighters said dousing the fire was a challenge as the lanes leading to the house were narrow and the fire tenders could not enter the area.

An officer from the Delhi Fire Service said they had to take the hose pipes atop the terraces of adjacent houses to douse the blaze.

DFS officials said the fire broke out at 12.23 pm in Karol Bagh's Beadonpura area.

The DFS had received a call about a blaze at a house but when firefighters reached the spot, they found that the first floor of the building housed and illegal workshop where the victims were involved in laundering clothes, said an official.

He said the victims were about to steam-iron clothes and were putting the solvent used for laundering in a container when it spilled on the floor and came in contact with the steam iron, triggering the fire.

A heavily-built man, who was sitting near the door, tried to get out of the exit door but got stuck. This blocked the route for others who were inside the building, the officer added.

The deceased were identified as Bagan Prasad (55), Ram (40), Aarti (20) and Asha (40), police said.

Ajit sustained minor injuries and was undergoing treatment at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, they added.

He claimed that he was packing material when the fire broke out.

"I was busy packing material when the fire broke out. There were six others present, including three who pressed clothes. I rushed to the gate and somehow managed to escape," Ajit said.

Two blaze tenders brought the fire under control by 12.50 pm, the officer said.

According to fire department officials, the unit was running illegally in a small house.

"The area where the workshop was running is a residential area but people are running small factories here which are hazardous. The lanes are so narrow that the firetenders also could not enter to carry out the rescue operations," said an officer.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)