A call about the fire was received at 5:22 am on Sunday following which 30 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, said police. So far, 14 people have been rescued out of which 11 have been admitted to hospital. Atul Garg, Chief Fire Officer, Delhi Fire Service on fire incident at Rani Jhansi Road: Till now we have rescued more than 50 people, majority were affected due to smoke. He added that rescue operations are now underway.
The building was filled with school bags and packing material, fire officials said, but cautioned they were still unsure about the cause of the blaze.
The injured were shifted to the LNJP hospital, the RML Hospital and the Hindu Rao Hospital.
A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was searching the factory to find out if any more people were trapped, a police official told Reuters.
The blaze broke out in the early hours in the city's old quarter, whose narrow and congested lanes are lined with many small manufacturing and storage units.
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It sprawls along the waterfront southwest of the city's downtown and dominates the economy of the surrounding area. The Saudi national also reportedly criticized the US for allegedly supporting crime against Muslims and humanity.
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The fire is said to be one of the biggest fire incidents in Delhi after the Uphaar Cinema fire which took place on June 13, 1997 in south Delhi's Green Park area leading to deaths of 59 and over 100 non-fatal injuries.
Manoj (23), a resident of Begusarai in Bihar, said his brother Naveen (18) was working in a handbag manufacturing unit operating from the premises. "My nephews Mohammed Imran and Ikramuddin were inside the factory".
"Till now we have rescued more than 50 people, majority were affected due to smoke", ANI quoted Atul Garg, Chief Fire Officer, Delhi Fire service as saying. Some of the bodies were charred, Dr Kishore Singh, Medical Superintendent, LNJP, said. Firemen doing their best. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday described the fire incident in Delhi's Anaj Mandi area as "tragic" and said firemen were doing their best.
The fire incident in a three-storey building has so far claimed 43 lives and injured around 56 people, most labourers. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted to condole deaths in the incident.
"I extend my deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wish for the speedy recovery of those injured", he said. The Delhi traffic police have asked people not to use the Rani Jhansi flyover near New Delhi railway station as the road has been closed due to the incident.