Bharatiya Janata Party leader and North Delhi Mayor Preeti Aggarwal on Sunday triggered a controversy after she was caught on camera asking officials not to talk about the licence of the firecracker factory in Bawana Industrial Area where a blaze had killed 17 people on Saturday.

“Iss factory ki licence humare paas hai, isliye kuch nai bolna (The licence of this factory is with us [the North Delhi Municipal Corporation], so we should not speak against it),” Aggarwal is heard saying in the video.

She later denied making the comment. “I only made some inquiry about the place from my co-workers and I meant we shouldn’t say anything about such unfortunate incident at this time,” the mayor told ANI.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal retweeted the video, and said a thorough inquiry will be conducted into the incident. On Saturday, Kejriwal had said that it will be fully investigated how the factory got the licence.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the Aam Aadmi Party should apologise for spreading lies. He defended Aggarwal, and said she had only asked whom does the factory come under. “It’s murmuring, only ‘ye factory’ is clear,” said Tiwari.

Owner of firecracker unit arrested

The Delhi Police have arrested the owner of the firecracker factory. Manoj Jain allegedly did not obtain a no-objection certificate from the fire department, the Hindustan Times reported.

The fire broke out in the basement of the two-storey building and spread to the ground and the upper floors. The building reportedly had just two fire extinguishers. “Ideally, there should be smoke detectors, alarms and water sprinklers in every floor of the building, including the basement,” Additional Director of Delhi Fire Service Atul Garg said. “But none of it was there in the said building.”

The building had just one exit, flouting industrial safety standards that mandate an alternative exit at every factory. The entrance to the building’s terrace was also not kept open, Garg added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was deeply anguished by the tragedy. “My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. May those who are injured recover quickly.”

Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan visited two of the survivors who are at present being treated at Maharishi Valmiki Hospital in Pooth Khurd. “[The] Government should enforce strict safety regulations to such hazardous industries to avoid at least future accidents,” he said.