Two men were arrested on Saturday in connection to the fire at a commercial building in Delhi’s Mundka, the police said according to ANI. Twenty-seven people died in the fire that broke out on Friday and 40 have been injured.
The arrested men are owners of the company where the fire erupted in the three-storey office complex on Saturday. Twenty-nine persons who were in the building when the fire started are currently missing, ANI reported.
Meanwhile, seven of those who died in the fire have been identified as Tania Bhushan, Mohini Pal, Yashoda Devi, Ranju Devi, Vishal, Drishti and Kailash Jyani, The Indian Express reported.
The city’s Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, where the injured persons have been admitted, has set up a help desk for the relatives of persons who are injured or missing, ANI reported.
The fire erupted at the first floor office of a company that manufactures close-circuit television cameras and routers is located, said Outer District Deputy Commissioner of Police Sameer Sharma.
Owners of the company Harish Goel and Varun Goel have been charged under Indian Penal Code sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
The building did not have a fire clearance, Sharma said.
“The owner of the building has been identified as Manish Lakra who lived on the top floor,” he added. “Lakra is currently absconding. Teams are on the job and he will be nabbed soon.”
The building only had one entry and exit route, which was the reason behind the high number of deaths, PTI quoted Atul Garg, the director of the Delhi Fire Service, as saying. He said that fire officials recovered some more charred remains on Saturday morning, and the rescue operation is now complete.
Garg said that it was difficult for authorities to ascertain if some of the charred remains were of one or more persons. He said that the toll could rise to 30.
On Friday, the Mundka police station received a call about the fire at 4.45 pm. Police officials broke the windows of the building and rescued some of the persons inside.
“We will take help of the forensic team to identify the bodies,” Sharma said, ANI reported. “A first information report has been registered.”
Sharma said that there were chances of recovering more bodies as the rescue operation was still going on.
“There was only one staircase in the building,” Divisional Officer of fire department Satpal Bhardwaj said, ANI reported. “Because of that, people could not get out.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday ordered a magisterial inquiry into the fire, PTI reported. He visited the site with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain.
“The families of the deceased [persons] will be given a compensation of Rs 10 lakh,” Kejriwal said, reported PTI. “While the injured will be given Rs 50,000.”
Most of the charred bodies were beyond recognition, he said. The state government has roped in the forensic laboratory in Delhi to identify the deceased so the families can be informed, he added, reported the Hindustan Times.
Kejriwal said that the Delhi government will ensure that the culprits are brought to justice. “Once the inquiry report comes, be it an individual, officer or agency, no culprit will be spared,” he said.