New Delhi: The Mundka building, ravaged by a blaze that killed 27 people, did not have a no-objection certificate from the fire department while its single entry and exit point could be the reason for the high number of deaths, a top fire department official said on Saturday.
Following the incident, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has sought from Narela Zone authorities a detailed report, including the type of area and tentative year of construction of the building, officials said.
NDMC Commissioner Sanjay Goel has asked the local civic authorities to treat the matter with “top priority”. The details have to be submitted within 48 hours, the communication said, adding it was learnt the fire broke out due to a short circuit.
The building did not have a no-objection certificate from the fire department, a fire department officer said.
According to officials of the department, the fire started from the first floor of the building that houses the office of a CCTV camera assembling company.
The first and second floors of the building housed the godown and office of the CCTV assembly company Impex private limited. The third floor housed a WiFi assembling firm while the fourth floor was residential, fire officials said.
They said that most of the bodies were found on the second floor of the building. The owners of the company, Harish Goel and his brother Varun, who were detained earlier, have been arrested, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) Sameer Sharma said. The building owner has been booked as well.
The cooling process has been completed. However, two fire tenders are present at the spot as a precautionary measure since the building is in a dangerous state, officials said.
In videos that emerged on social media, people could be heard crying for help while others were seen jumping from the building in a desperate attempt to escape the flames.
“The rescue operation is over. The building had a single escape route which is the reason for so many casualties,” said Atul Garg, the director of Delhi Fire Service.
Garg said they have recovered some more charred remains on Saturday morning and the death toll could rise. It was difficult to ascertain whether the remains were of one person or more, he said.
According to the officials, there was only one narrow staircase for entry and exit in the building which made the escape difficult.
Twenty-nine people are reported to be missing. People were still searching for their loved ones as police said 29 people were unaccounted for.
The NDMC has asked the Narela Zone authorities to furnish details about the land use type — whether it was residential, agricultural or Lal Dora — of the area where the building is located.
It has sought the tentative year of construction of the building, its height and whether any construction was ongoing.
Also, the Narela Zone authorities have been asked to report whether the building plan was sanctioned, the purpose for which it was being used and whether any no-objection certificate was obtained from the fire department or not.
Details related to factory licence, trade licence, conversion charges, property tax or other municipal dues, too have been sought.
The local civic authorities have also been asked to identify any kind of lapse on the part of any municipal official and the recommended action for it.