‘Massive’ fire at SBI building, no casualty

DELHI : A ‘massive-category’ fire broke out at the State Bank of India (SBI) building at Sansad Marg early Wednesday morning. At least seven fire tenders and 30 firefighters were rushed to the spot and the blaze was doused in under 30 minutes. No casualty was reported, said fire officials.

Delhi Fire Service (DFS) chief Atul Garg said, “We received a call at 8.10 am and within three minutes, fire tenders reached the spot. It was a ‘massive-category’ fire and could have been disastrous had employees been present in the building. Since it was around 8 am, only the guard was stationed outside the building.”

The guard of the building saw smoke coming out of the sixth floor and called DFS, said an official.

Garg claimed that “the fire fighting systems of the building were not functional.” He said that “both the water-based system such as sprinklers and water hose, as well as the detector system like fire alarms, were installed but not functional.” Despite repeated messages and calls, SBI did not respond to claims made by the fire chief.

In a separate incident, a 40-year-old woman died when a gas cylinder burst inside a shanty near Kirti Nagar Metro station in West Delhi early Wednesday morning. Four people, including a five-year-old girl, were injured. DCP (West) Monika Bhardwaj said, “An FIR has been filed under sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire), 336 and 337 (endangering life) of the IPC.”

The DFS received a call around 8.20 am and six fire tenders were deployed to douse the flames at the house of one Mohd Sadiq. Garg said, “The victims suffered burn injuries and were rushed to Safdarjung Hospital.”