Malviya Nagar Fire Under Control, Rubber Godown Owner Arrested

The Indian Air Force (IAF) helped contain the fire overnight through its ‘Bambi Bucket’ operation with a helicopter.

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It took almost 20 hours and the help of nearly 65 fire tenders along with an Indian Air Force helicopter to bring under control the massive fire that had broken out in a rubber godown in South Delhi's Malviya Nagar locality on the evening of Tuesday, 29 May.

The city police also registered an FIR in the incident, and on Wednesday, one Sanjay Saini – the owner of the rubber godown in question – was arrested. The owner did not have the required permissions from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, he also had no fire safety equipment in place, reported ANI.

A fire department official earlier told The Quint that no injury or casualty has been reported in the incident, which has been touted as a 'highest category' blaze.

The IAF helped contain the fire overnight through its 'Bambi Bucket' operation. The helicopter deployed for the operation filled water from Yamuna reservoir and poured it over the site, reported PTI.

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.
IAF statement
  • A massive fire broke out at a rubber godown in South Delhi’s Malviya Nagar on Tuesday, 29 May. 
  • A massive fire broke out at a rubber godown in South Delhi’s Malviya Nagar on Tuesday, 29 May. 
  • An IAF chopper douses the fire at a godown by using Bambi Buckets at Malviya Nagar on Wednesday.

The operation picked up this morning, when a helicopter flown by wing commander Pradeep Bhola of the Mighty Armours helped douse the fire, the IAF said.

Approximately 8,000 litres of water has been used in the operation, it was further reported.

Officials reportedly cordoned off the area and evacuated buildings in the vicinity.

What Caused the Fire?

The fire started on Tuesday evening from a truck parked near Sant Nirankari School in Malviya Nagar. The truck was loaded with rubber sheet from a godown, the police said.

The fire from the burning truck spread to the godown, said DCP (south) Romil Baaniya, adding that 13 buildings, a school and a gym had been evacuated for safety reasons.

Inflammable rubber compounds stored in metallic/plastic boxes caught fire. The moderate winds are also flaring up the fire.
DCP (south) Romil Baaniya

Medical teams at various hospitals including Max Saket, Safdarjung Hospital and AIIMS were also alerted to attend to any emergency, the DCP reportedly said.

Meanwhile, the local Aam Aadmi Party MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj claimed that the residential locality had various illegal warehouses and factories, which made it prone to disasters. Bhardwaj also pointed out that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) officials were made aware of the issue by the local AAP councillor, but to no avail.

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