Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the fire that broke out at a Delhi factory this morning and killed more than 40 people. A detailed report is to be submitted within a week. The Chief Minister, who rushed to the site after news of the fire, also ordered compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of those who died and Rs 1 lakh each to those injured, whose medical expenses will be borne by his government. Earlier today Mr Kejriwal joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress's Rahul Gandhi in offering condolences to the families of the victims and those injured.
The cause of the fire - reported at 5.22 am is not yet known. The fire happened inside the workshop of a luggage-manufacturing factory located in a crowded area in north Delhi. The area is filled with narrow and congested lanes lined with several small-scale manufacturing and storage units.
Most of those who died were labourers sleeping inside the factory; more than 50 people were inside at the time of the blaze, officials said.
Thirty fire trucks were dispatched and the situation has since been brought under control.
Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the site with relatives and locals rushing to the area. "I got a call from his friend informing that he has been injured in the incident. I have no clue which hospital he has been taken to," said Manoj, whose brother was working in a handbag manufacturing unit operating from the premises.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel have reached the area to assist in rescue operations and are currently inside the building to check if anyone is still stuck.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the incident as "extremely horrific". The Prime Minister's Office also announced compensation - Rs 2 lakh for the families of victims and Rs 50,000 to those seriously injured.
Home Minister Amit Shah said he prayed for the "early recovery of the injured" and said he had instructed the authorities to provide all possible assistance on urgent basis.
With input from ANI