New Delhi: The absconding owner of a building in outer Delhi’s Mundka, where a massive fire broke out leaving 27 people dead, has been arrested two days after the incident. ‘We have arrested the absconding building owner Manish Lakra after conducting raids in Delhi and Haryana’ said Sameer Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer). Lakhra is a resident of Mundka village, he said.
Twenty-seven people, including 21 women, have died in the blaze that started on the first floor of the four-storey building on Friday. Nineteen people are still missing and there was little hope of finding survivors. Friday’s fire at the commercial building was the largest since the blaze at a factory in the Anaj Mandi area and the second largest since the Uphaar Cinema tragedy in 1997. According to the fire department, the death toll could rise up to 30 as charred remains were found in the building during cooling operations on Saturday morning. Twelve injured were undergoing treatment at a hospital.
The police had earlier said the building did not have fire NOC. ‘The building did not have a fire NOC. The police have already arrested the two men – Harish Goyal and his brother Varun Goyal – and were on the lookout for the owner of the building who allegedly managed to escape the fire with his family from the top-floor flat by climbing onto the roof of an adjacent building. According to police, the Goyal brothers were questioned on the lack of fire safety arrangements in the place, despite nearly 250 employees working in their firm, and storage of inflammable materials in large quantities on the floors.