On Sunday morning, 32-year-old Firoz Khan woke up to flames engulfing the room where he was sleeping along with his fellow workers in a building in Delhi's Anaj Mandi.
Firoz Khan, who is among the survivors of the deadly blaze which killed 43 people, said he was sleeping near the door and managed to escape along with few others after alerting others about the fire. He worked at a cap manufacturing unit on the third floor.
Recalling his ordeal, Firoz Khan said, "When I woke up, I saw flames in the room in which we were sleeping. The door was about six metres away from me. I alerted the other workers sleeping near me and four or five of us rushed out through the door."
He said that many of those sleeping at a distance from the door were trapped in the fire and he does not know whether they survived.
The factory workers had to struggle to escape as the exit routes were partially blocked and several windows were found sealed, according to rescuers.
Police and fire department officials said most of the fatalities occurred due to suffocation as many people were sleeping when the fire started around 5 am on the second floor of the building that did not have fire safety clearance.
Nearly 150 firefighters worked to pull out 63 people from the building. While 43 labourers died, many others were injured including two fire department personnel, they said.
Mohammad Asif said his cousins Imran (32) and Ikram (35), who were working in a factory that manufactured carry bags, were injured in the fire.
"I live in Bhajanpura and I got a call from Moradabad around 6 am that my cousins have been injured. I rushed to Anaj Mandi but couldn't find them amid heavy police deployment. Police told us they were taken to hospital. We looked for them at LNJP hospital but have not been able to confirm were brought here," he said.
There were other distraught people too searching for their loved ones in hospitals.
"My brother Naveen works in a handbag manufacturing unit in the Anaj Mandi area. I got a call from his friends informing that he has been injured in the incident. I have no clue which hospital he has been taken to," 23-year-old Manoj said.