Noida: At least six persons were killed and four others injured in a massive fire at an electronics factory here on Wednesday, police said adding that several persons were missing in the incident.
Ten fire tenders and hydraulic cranes were pressed into service to control the inferno at the factory of Excel Greenwich company in sector 11 of the industrial township, adjacent to the national capital.
Six badly-charred bodies have been recovered from the remains of the factory, an official told IANS. Police suspect that an electrical short circuit triggered the fire and the flames rapidly spread to all the four floors in the building, leaving many with no chance to escape.
At the time of the incident, there were more than three dozen people working inside. Among the dead were five men and one woman. Many people, including the HR manager of the company, remain missing, an official said.
Some of the injured, who leaped out of the building in a bid to escape the flames, were seriously injured. One worker escaped by climbing down a rope but suffered hand and leg injures, while another worker, who jumped from the fourth floor to an adjoining building, sustained spinal injuries. Local residents said that lives could have been saved had rescue teams reached sooner.
Satinder, a rickshaw-puller who stays near the factory where his son also works, claimed that fire tenders reached the spot over half-an hour after the fire broke out at around 1 p.m. "I rushed to the factory as soon as I learnt of the fire.... My son works in the basement in packaging section. I rushed towards the basement and the staff there were still not aware of the fire till I told them to escape," Satinder told IANS.
Hira Lal, a security guard, said that the fire started from the ground floor and luckily there was less staff as it was lunch hour. He said he rushed to the first floor to alert the staff and by the time the fire had engulfed a large area. The guard also said that fire officials had not reached the spot quickly.
However, fire department officials said there was no delay, as they acted as soon as they got information from Noida police. Police officials said they were conducting search operation. Most of those killed were those who were on the fourth floor where the management had its office.
Noida's Superintendent of Police Dinesh Yadav, who was at the spot, said that they will register a case on the basis of the Fire Department's report. Gautambudh Nagar District Magistrate N.P. Singh was also on the spot.