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Bawana factory fire: Owner Manoj Jain arrested

IANS | New Delhi |

The Delhi Police has arrested the Bawana plastic factory owner following a major fire incident in the unit on Saturday which claimed at least 17 lives, police said on Sunday.

Manoj Jain was arrested on Saturday night following a brief questioning with him after the police filed an FIR against him, Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajneesh Gupta said.

The officer said: “We apprehended Jain as the factory was owned by him and one Lalit Goel”.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday ordered a thorough probe into the fire and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased.

As many as 17 people, including 10 women, were burnt alive or asphyxiated and 30 others injured in a fire in a plastic warehouse in west Delhi’s Bawana on Saturday evening, officials said.

The Chief Minister said the matter will be fully probed on how the licence was given, who gave the licence and how the incident happened.

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manoj Tiwari and Leader of Opposition in Delhi assembly Vijender Gupta also reached the spot apart from North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Preety Agarwal.

Manoj Tiwari also announced compensation of Rs 50,000 to the victims of the fire incident.

DCP Gupta said the fire in Bawana Industrial Area was reported to the control room around 6.20 p.m., following which 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot. The fire was doused after three hours.

According to Gupta crackers were packed in the factory and there was only one exit in the factory which led to such a huge killing in the incident.

The victims were trapped in the basement, first and second floors when the fire spread from the basement to the floors above, the police officer said.

He said that seven of the deceased, whose postmortem has been done, are women in the age group between 20 and 35 years.