- The fire broke out at a rubber factory in Delhi's Jhilmil industrial area
- The building consists of a ground floor and three upper floors
- It took firefighters more than two hours to extinguish the fire
Three people, including two women have died in a major fire that broke out this morning at a rubber factory in northeast Delhi's Jhilmil industrial area. 26 fire engines were sent to the spot shortly after the fire broke out at around 9 am.
Fire officials were notified about it at around 9:25 am. It took firefighters, who made their way to the building in the middle of a narrow and congested lane, more than two hours to extinguish the fire.
Search and rescue operations are being carried out, and fire department officials are checking if any more people are trapped in the building.
The hardware factory where the fire broke out manufactures plastic and rubber items - mainly household tools and equipment. The building consists of a ground floor and three upper floors.
The cause of the fire is not known yet, and an investigation is being carried out in this regard.
Despite being an industrial area, there are several residential buildings located near the factory. The area is congested and unplanned, and the lanes are narrow, highlighting the lack of proper planning.
In a similar incident in January last year, 17 people - ten women and seven men - died in a massive blaze at a firecracker storage unit in outer Delhi's Bawana industrial area.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited the site and announced Rs 5 lakh compensation each to the families of those who died in the fire at the rubber factory. "Shocked to know about three deaths in a factory fire in Jhilmil Industrial area. Fire Services personnel tried their best to bring the fire under control in hostile conditions. Am visiting the site wid Industries Minister," he said in a tweet.
An official said that the licence of the factory had expired. "The license of that factory had already expired and it was not renewed," Ranen Kumar, deputy commissioner, factory license department, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), was quoted by news agency Press Trust of India.
In a statement, Mr Kumar said a detailed investigation would be done.
As per the norms, the official said, a no objection certificate (NOC) from the fire department was not required for an area measuring below 250 square metres, adding that the unit was operating in an area of 110 sqm.
Mr Kumar said the online license renewal facility was available with the EDMC. He added in the last few days, special camps were also organised for services related to renewal of license in industrial areas.