Everyone is asking why we couldn't save more people: DFS Chief

New Delhi


 For someone who was leading a team of bravehearts who in a heroic effort rescued more than two dozen people from a building that was taking a life almost every minute, the best reward could be appreciation, which the Delhi Fire Chief Atul Garg has been receiving ever since Sunday. However, these appreciations come with a question that Garg feels must be answered to everyone.

"First of all everyone has been appreciating us since that day, but almost all asked same question. Why couldn't you save more people," Garg told IANS.

Speaking to IANS, Garg listed out some of the biggest challenges that the structure and maintenance of the building presented before the rescue team of Delhi Fire Services causing so many lives.

"We always tell the builders and the people who are constructing new building that an electric meter must not be installed near stairs, because in case of short-circuit the smoke from the meter box would first suffocate the people running down from stairs and second we suggest that a building must have two way exit," Garg said.

The Delhi Fire Chief who went inside the building to rescue purpose claimed both of these basic suggestions were ignored in the building which became one of the biggest reason for death of so many people.

"There were two stair cases in the building, but one was closed, plus the stairs were filled with black smoke, probably because of the short-circuit. I wished the owner of the building had at least kept the other exit stairs open, the casualty scale would have been much less," Garg said.

Garg who has led the Delhi Fire department in hundreds of rescue and fire dozing operations also mentioned that the building lacked windows for proper ventilation that trapped the smoke inside.

When asked for basic things to remember while constructing a house, Garg said, "Have two ways of exit, never instal electricity meter box near stairs and have proper windows so they help in ventilation and also if necessary these can be used as escape route."

At least 43 people were killed and over a dozen others injured early on Sunday when a fire broke out in a factory in a crowded market in West Delhi's Rani Jhansi Road area, the national capital's Fire Service Department said.

The people who died in the fire were labourers and were sleeping in the factory when the fire broke out between 4.30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Sunday morning.

More than 60 people were rescued and shifted to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) and Lady Harding Hospital.

Thirty four people were reported to be dead in LNJP hospital and nine in Lady Harding Hospital, an official figure from the two hospitals had revealed.

The Fire Department said that they received a call around 5.22 a.m. and 25 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained but the fire officials said it could be a short circuit.

The fire is said to be one of the biggest fire incidents in Delhi after the Uphaar Cinema fire which took place on June 13, 1997 in south Delhi's Green Park area leading to deaths of 59 and over 100 non-fatal injuries.IANS