Scenes of panic and confusion were seen Thursday after a fire broke out inside the building housing a UPSC coaching centre in Northwest Delhi’s Mukherjee Nagar. Students were seen rappelling down using ropes and wires, sitting on AC compressors, and some just jumping down.
The Delhi Police reported that 61 students and a small number of employees from business buildings were hospitalised after suffering burns on their arms, necks, and legs. 50 individuals were ultimately released. According to the police, two students suffered serious injuries; one of them had leaped from the third floor and landed on an AC compressor.
Videos of the incident show terrified students scaling the building’s windows with the help of AC wires, ropes or ladders erected by their peers and neighbours.
Atul Garg, the head of Delhi Fire Services, reported that at 12:27 p.m., they received a call from Bhandari House, Batra Complex, in Mukherjee Nagar. Eleven fire engines were dispatched right away, but it took them over two hours to put out the fire and conduct rescue operations. Primarily, the fire was caused by a short circuit in the electrical board, according to officials.
Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of Delhi, called the incident “very unfortunate”. “Some pupils have picked up minor wounds while attempting to flee. Rest is secure. There is no need for concern. The fire department has put the fire under control. Additionally present is the district administration, he tweeted.
Manoj Tiwari, a member of parliament for Northeast Delhi, also went to the area and assessed the situation.
After a coaching centre fire in 2019, Surat witnessed similar situations. 22 students were killed in the incident; some of them died as they leaped off the structure.
Three to four IAS coaching centre divisions as well as a number of offices are housed in the three-story building, which also has a ground floor and basement. At the moment, there were about 250 students inside the building.
According to authorities, three coaching institutes are also being investigated about the lack of firefighting supplies. On inspection, none of the floors had any fire fighting apparatus, according to DFS chief Garg. He claimed that a probe is underway to see whether the structure has a fire NOC.
“Prima facie, it appears that the fire started in the electricity metre on the ground floor,” said DCP (Northwest) Jitendra Kumar Meena. We are looking into the structure’s fire clearance.
200–250 kids from various coaching facilities were there, he continued. IPC sections 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (causing harm by endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous harm by an act endangering life or personal safety of others), 120B (criminal conspiracy), and 34 (acts done by multiple people in furtherance of common intention) are all being used to register a case. A probe is underway.
A representative for Sanskriti IAS claimed that the coaching center’s courses were taking place in class number 8 on the third level of the building in the early hours of Friday.
According to him, the fire began at the bottom. “Students shattered the third floor windows in a rush to get away… While the others are in stable condition, two of them suffered significant injuries.We are in contact with the families of the students and are assisting them with medical care, the spokeswoman said.
The representative continued, “The said building had several coaching centres operating at the time of the incident, in addition to ours.”