Delhi's electricals market fire rages on, building may crash

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 14, 2012 12:40 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 14 (IANS) A blaze that broke out in electricals and electronics goods market in the capital Thursday continued to rage through for the second day Friday, with more than 30 shops gutted and raising the danger of the old building collapsing, fire service officials said.

The fire was noticed around 5.30 p.m. Thursday at the Bhagirath Palace in Chandni Chowk area of old Delhi. Starting from the second floor, it spread to the fifth floor of the multi-storey building in which more than 2,000 shops and warehouses of electrical and electronics goods are located.

"The fire was brought under control on Thursday night but suddenly again sparked of around 5 a.m. today (Friday) when the shift of fire officials changed," said a shopkeeper.

Delhi Fire Service director A.K. Sharma told IANS that 10 fire engines were battling the blaze, and firemen were using over 100 metre-long water pipes to douse the flames, as the spot was in congested area.

"The building's basement is made up of wooden beams which have become weak and lead to the possibility of collapse. Partial collapses have already taken place inside the building. We are taking all measures to avoid a complete collapse as well," he said.

Sharma said the fire could only be doused by late Friday night or Saturday morning.

"The major problem which our officials are facing is congestion and narrow lanes. We are equipped with all the techniques but our engines won't be able to enter inside," he said.

Speaking about the fire, a shopkeeper said it was ignited by sparks in a cable material warehouse at shop number 1810 on the second floor.

"We immediately shut down our shops and called the fire and police officials. We also informed power officials to stop the power," Udhav Sharda, who runs an electronics shop in Bhagirath Palace, told IANS.

"Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident but items worth crores of rupees were gutted," market association president B.K. Jindal told IANS.

"First we want to stop the fire and will later calculate our losses," he said.

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