17 people die in India factory fire

Relatives of the victims gesture to police personnel as they mourn in a hospital after a fire on the outskirts of Delhi, India, on Saturday. At least 17 people died in the fire, which broke out in a firecracker factory. Photo by Rajat Gupta/EPA-EFE

Jan. 21 (UPI) — At least 17 people died on Saturday in New Delhi when a fire broke out in an illegal firecracker storage unit.

The fire, which broke out in the Bawana industrial area, trapped about 50 workers inside the storage unit. Emergency officials said the majority of deaths were caused by burns but a few died after inhaling toxic fumes.

One person was injured while escaping the fire by jumping from the third floor of the unit, according to emergency personnel.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sadness about the tragedy, tweeting he is “Deeply anguished by the fire at a factory in Bawana. My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives.”

The fatal fire was the third fire incident in Bawana industrial area on Saturday but the other two, which happened in separate factories, did not result in casualties.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Officials say the factory was illegal and operating without permits, which also will be investigated.


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