IAF assists in dousing South Delhi fire, owner held

The arrested accused has been identified as Sanjay Saini. The police added that a probe has been initiated.

New Delhi: The Delhi police has arrested the owner of the rubber godown in Malviya Nagar where fire broke out on Tuesday. The owner did not have the required permission from the MCD and no fire safety equipment were installed at the site, the police said.

The arrested accused has been identified as Sanjay Saini. The police added that a probe has been initiated.

Almost after 20 hours, a massive fire that fumed through the night at a warehouse in South Delhi’s Malviya Nagar has been put off, but the cooling operations are on, said the fire officials.

The Indian Air Force (IAF), through its Bambi Bucket operation, helped to douse the fire, according to an official statement.

“Around Tuesday midnight, a request was received at HQ Western Air Command for containing a fire at Malviya Nagar. A MLH class helicopter airborne from Sarsawa did a recce and landed at Palam. Thereafter, the helicopter got airborne with bambi bucket to contain the fire,” the statement by the IAF said.

The helicopter filled water from Yamuna reservoir and poured it over the site. “This had to be repeated thrice to contain the fire. This was the first time the bambi bucket operation was done in an urban situation wherein the nitty gritties of drop are very precise, owing to high rises around and chances of collateral damage,” the statement said.

The operations picked up on Wednesday morning wherein a helicopter flown by Wing Commander Pradeep Bhola of the Mighty Armours assisted in dousing the fire, the IAF said.

Approximately 8,000 litres of water have been used in the operation. So far, 65 fire tenders have been used to contain the blaze, the police said, adding 13 buildings, a school and a gym have been evacuated for safety reasons.

The fire started around 5 pm on Tuesday in the warehouse at Khirki Extension, a crowded residential part of Malviya Nagar. Thick black smoke rising from the fire was visible from much of South Delhi.

The police believe a truck loaded with rubber material parked near the godown caught fire, which spread in no time because of strong winds on Tuesday night. Plastic and raw material stored in the factory fuelled the fire, said an official.

Thirteen buildings in the vicinity, including the school and a gym, have been evacuated for safety. It was tough for fire engines to access the narrow and congested lanes, officials said. One fire-fighter has been injured.

No one else has been reported injured but hospitals are on alert. Coomenting on the incident AAP legislator Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged there were many illegal warehouses and factories operating in residential areas and if these were overlooked, many disasters are waiting to happen. He also said that the local AAP councillor had complained to south Delhi municipal officials, but no action was taken.

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