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India: Bawana firecracker factory fire claims 17 lives

Seventeen people were killed and two injured in a massive blaze at a firecracker storage unit in outer Delhi’s Bawana industrial area on 20 January. The factory was operating without permission and necessary clearances. The city government has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

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19 January 2018

India: Bawana firecracker factory fire kills 17, factory owner arrested

Author: Alok Singh, Indian Express

"Delhi fire: Day after blaze killed 17, Bawana firecracker factory owner Manoj Jain arrested." 21 January 2018

The Delhi Police on Sunday arrested the owner of the firecracker factory in Bawana Industrial area where 17 people died a day earlier after a fire broke out in the building...

...[T]he owner, had been operating the factory since January 1. Police said they...booked him ...[for] negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter...punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder...causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC [Indian Penal Code] and Explosives Act at Bawana Police Station Station.

... the factory was of cold firecrackers used in stage shows and Holi celebrations. The packages recovered from the site also show the same...

... As of now, it was found that most of the workers were trapped inside the three-floor unit which caused the majority of deaths.

Incidentally, the firecracker fire was the third fire incident in Bawana Industrial Area Saturday. The other fires, in separate factories, didn’t result in any casualties...


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19 January 2018

India: Proliferation of illegal industrial units in Delhi caused by civic bodies indiscriminately granting licences, according to official records

Author: Taboola, Press Trust of India, NDTV

"Bawana Warehouse Fire: Civic Bodies In Delhi Violating Norms, Records Say." 21 January 2018 

Bawana [factory fire] is not an isolated case, but the entire national capital is a virtual tinderbox as the civic bodies have, over the years, granted factory licences violating norms, according to official records.

Ten women and seven men were killed while a man and woman were injured in a massive blaze at a firecracker storage unit in outer Delhi's Bawana industrial area...[20 January]

Barely a month before the Bawana cracker unit tragedy, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had pulled up civic bodies for indiscriminately granting licences to industrial units.

In an official order, the DPCC...said the "root cause" of the proliferation of illegal industrial units was the fact that people are obtaining licences from the civic bodies, despite not having the "mandatory" consent from the pollution board.

It also reprimanded agencies such as the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which comes under the city government, and the power distribution companies of issuing water and electricity connections to such illegal industrial units...

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