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'Cried for Help, but Nobody Heard Us': Survivors Recount Delhi's Mundka Fire

At least 27 bodies were recovered from the building near Delhi's Mundka metro station, which was engulfed by fire.

Updated
India
3 min read

Video Producer: Naman Shah

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma & Harpal Rawat

"We could not get out from the main gate, so we had to jump in order to save our lives," Pushpa Panwar, one of the survivors of a massive fire that broke out in a building near Delhi's Mundka metro station on Friday, 13 May, told The Quint.

At least 27 bodies were recovered from the site after the fire engulfed the building near pillar number 544 of the metro station at around 4:40 pm on Friday.

Panwar further said that she was lucky to escape, but 15-16 women behind her were not able to make it out alive. She also added that around 300 people used to work in the building.
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'None of Us Had Phones to Call For Help As the Company Had Asked Us to Submit Them': Eyewitness

Another survivor named Shazia Parveen, who was attending a meeting on the fourth floor of the building when the fire broke out, told The Quint, "We kept screaming for help for one-and-a-half hours, but nobody heard us. We also tried to break the glass to reach the terrace, but were unable to do so."

Parveen also said that she was able to climb down the building from the fourth floor with the help of a rope, adding that 150-200 people might still be trapped inside.

She further said that nobody had their phones with them to call for help, as the company had asked them to submit them before commencing their work.

"The company had asked us to submit our phones as family members used to call us often during working hours," she said, adding, "we used to get our phones only for 10 minutes during the lunch break, after which we would be asked to submit them again."

Parveen added that a motivational speech was ongoing at the building when the fire broke out. "Sir (her boss) was asking us what we can do for the future of the company and motivating us to do something big."

A man, whose wife worked in the building and has been missing since Friday afternoon, has been searching for her since Friday night.

The man, named Naseem, said that he had visited Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, among other hospitals, but was unable to find her.

Naseem also said that he and his wife had two children, and that he had to lie to them about the whereabouts of their mother so that they wouldn't worry.

7 Bodies Identified So Far

Meanwhile, Sanjay Gandhi Hospital MS SK Arora said that 27 bodies had been received by them, out of which seven had been identified so far.

"All the bodies are severely burnt and charred. Seven bodies have been identified, and relatives are still coming for the identification process. Also, seven families are currently looking for their family members among the bodies," Arora was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

He also said that DNA would be extracted from all the bodies, regardless of whether they are identified or not. "One body would be analysed against four relatives. We are waiting for other families to reach here and identify their relatives."

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Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide),120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Two people, Harish Goel and Varun Goel, have also been arrested in connection with the incident. Manish Lakra, who was identified as the owner of the building, is currently absconding, as per the police.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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