Fire in commercial building in India leaves at least 27 dead

NEW DELHI (AP) — A massive fire broke out Friday night in a four-story commercial building in the Indian capital, killing at least 27 people and injuring several others, the fire control room said.

Dozens of people have been rescued from the building, which contains mainly shops, the control room said. The building is located in the Mundka area of ​​western New Delhi.

The Press Trust of India news agency said 12 people suffered burns in the fire and 50 were evacuated from the building.

Twenty-seven fire trucks doused the flames after battling for more than five hours. A search operation continued to search for anyone trapped in the rubble, the fire control room said.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.

“Distressed by the tragic fire accident in a building near Mundka metro station in Delhi. My condolences to the bereaved families. I wish the injured a speedy recovery,” Indian President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was extremely saddened by the loss of life.

Fires are common in India, where builders and residents often ignore building laws and safety regulations.

Atul Garg, director of the Delhi Fire Services, said the building had no authorization from the fire department and was not equipped with fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers.

The incidents occurred on the second floor of the building, where flammable plastic material used to manufacture equipment such as security cameras was stored.

The Indian Express newspaper said two owners of a company that sells security cameras were detained for questioning when the fire reportedly started in their office. There was no immediate confirmation from police.

In 2019, a fire caused by an electrical short circuit engulfed a building in New Delhi, killing 43 people.

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