The first floor turned into ashes within 4-5 minutes, says Karol Bagh fire survivor

Ajit Kumar, one of the survivors of Monday’s fire in an illegal garment manufacturing unit in Delhi’s Karol Bagh that claimed four lives, said he had tried to save those trapped but the fire spread across the floor within 4-5 minutes, forcing him to leave.

Kumar,30, who hails from a village near Agra in Uttar Pradesh, said there was a blast before the fire spread throughout the floor.

“I had a nose injury because of the fire. I was working in the packing department when I heard a blast. Some burning material hit my nose and I got burns. I looked around and found that the table on which Baghan Rai was working, had caught fire. Since I was working close to his table, next to the exit, I first tried to douse the fire on him, but as it grew uncontrollable, I had to rush out,” Kumar said.

Kumar says he also burnt his hands while trying to put out the fire on Rai. “As I jumped out of the exit gate to the stairs, other workers ran in the opposite direction and got trapped. Within seconds, the fire spread. The blaze was so strong that it was not possible even to stand close to the building at that time,” he said.

Kumar and five others were working in the factory, set up on the first floor of a five-storey building. Soon as I stepped out, I alerted locals who rushed in with buckets of water but it did not help much, he added.

“I also tried to use a fire extinguisher kept in the factory but it was not sufficient. Within four to five minutes, the factory on first floor turned into ashes,” said Kumar, who had been working at the factory for past one year.

First Published: Nov 20, 2018 09:41 IST

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