At least 13 workers have been feared dead with dozens injured on Friday morning after a fire broke out in a ‘suspected illegal’ garment factory on the outskirts of the Indian capital, New Delhi.
“The fire broke out at a factory in a residential area of Sahibabad around 4:30 am (1100 GMT Thursday), in the morning,” local police spokesman Bhagwat Singh told media on Friday, adding that: “Thirteen people, who were sleeping there, have died and another two or three people are getting treated at the hospital.”
According to the spokesman, a short circuit in an electrical wire had caused the fire but an investigation would determine the cause with certainty.
Also, Uttar Pradesh state authorities said nine other workers were injured – four of them seriously.
Speaking on the incident, a local fire officer, Abbas Hussain, said the factory was most likely illegal.
“From what we see, there was nothing proper and the factory must surely not have been a legal one but we can say for sure only after a proper investigation,” he said.
The blaze started in the early hours of the morning in the factory, a converted house used to make leather jackets, with a narrow stairway into the basement where the workers slept.
However, a dozen fire engines put the flames under control after several hours.