Bangalore, March 25 (IANS) Six people were burnt to death early Monday in a massive fire that gutted a seat-making and furniture factory in the Magadi industrial area on the city’s outskirts, police said.
“The victims were said to be asleep when the fire occurred in the factory, which had inflammable material such as foam, thermocol, wooden panels and ready-made chairs,” Ramangara’s Superintendent of Police Anupam Agarwal told IANS here.
Though police registered a complaint of criminal negligence against the officials of the factory – SK Seating Systems Ltd – which makes foam seats for auditoriums and cinema theatres, no arrest has been made so far.
“We are waiting for the factory owner to report to the Magadi police station to find out how many people were present in the factory at the time of accident, as one more person is reportedly missing. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained,” Agarwal said.
According to state Fire Brigade’s Inspector General of Police (western range) Shiva Kumar, 10 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames and they brought the situation under control within a couple of hours.
“Our fire brigade station in the western suburbs got a call around 6 a.m. that a fire broke out in a seat-making factory off the Magadi road. By the time our men entered the premises, the entire material, including foam mattresses and chairs, was in flames. When the fire was extinguished, six bodies were found in the heap of burnt material,” Kumar said.
Preliminary investigation and interrogation of the factory’s employees revealed that the victims were in the factory since Sunday to complete a huge order for seats to a Dubai firm and stayed back in the premises as they worked through the night.
“Of the seven workers, one went out to bring tea and downed the shutters and latched them from outside as the factory had a valuable consignment ready for packing and shipping,” Kumar said citing one of the employees.
He said the victims could have died due to asphyxiation and from thick smoke of carbon dioxide and chemicals.
The victims, who were employed as contract labour, hailed from Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh.