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27 dead, 12 injured in massive blaze at commercial building in west Delhi

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At least 27 people died and 12 were injured after a fire broke out in a four-storey commercial building near the Mundka metro station in west Delhi on Friday evening, according to the local police

At least 27 people died and 12 were injured after a fire broke out in a four-storey commercial building near the Mundka metro station in west Delhi on Friday evening, according to the local police.

The injured have been admitted to the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital. At least 50 people have been rescued from the building and some were still trapped inside, police said.

“We'll take the help of the forensic team to identify the bodies. There are chances that more bodies may be recovered as the rescue operation is yet to be completed," Deputy Commissioner of Police Sameer Sharma said.

The fire started on the first floor of the building, where the office of a CCTV camera and router manufacturing company is located, DCP Sharma said.

The owners of the company -- Harish Goel and Varun Goel -- have been arrested.

However, the owner of the building, which did not have safety clearance from the fire department, identified as Manish Lakra is absconding and a manhunt has been launched to nab him.

A motivational speech event attended by a large number of people was being held on the second floor when the fire broke out. Most of the deaths took place on this floor, the preliminary probe shows.

Meanwhile, the divisional officer of the fire department also informed that there was only one staircase due to which people could not move out of the building.

The Delhi Fire Service deployed cranes to rescue those trapped in the blaze. However, smoke from the fire spread to the entire building and some people jumped off through the windows to save themselves, while some others used ropes to climb down.

According to fire department officials, information about the blaze was received around 4.40 pm following which 24 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

The divisional officer of the fire department said that there was only one staircase due to which people could not escape the building.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief over the tragedy and has announced a compensation of ₹ 2 lakh each to the families of those who lost their lives. The injured will be given ₹ 50,000, his office tweeted.

Home Minister Amit Shah said that he is in constant touch with the authorities and that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been pressed into service.