IAF deployed chopper to douse Delhi’s Malviya Nagar fire

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Sayan Chatterjee

NEW DELHI: Indian Air Force deployed a Mi-17 chopper this morning attached with a Bambi Bucket to douse the massive fire which broke at a rubber factory in New Delhi’s Malviya Nagar.

As the fire still continues to rage on since yesterday, the chopper will continue to douse it by refilling its Bambi bucket from a nearby Yamuna reservoir. The chopper was deployed from Palam AFS. It’s been 12 hours since the firefighting started. Previously on Tuesday night when the massive fire broke out at the warehouse, 40 tenders were rushed to the spot to no avail.

The team was deployed to spray water from the chopper early this morning. Fire officials say no casualties were reported so far at the spot. The chopper sprayed almost 400 litres of water in several sorties that contained the flames early morning. Fire officials say that the strong winds through the night led the flames to spread to the adjoining buildings as well.

Chief Fire officer Atul Garg said that the flames were contained by 6am after which the cooling operations were initiated now. While the cause of fire is yet to be ascertained, officials suspect that the fire originated from a truck parked adjacent to the warehouse. The truck too was gutted.

The gutted warehouse used to store rubber which aggravated the fire, officials said. The burning of rubber led to thick cloud of black smoke emanating from the fire. This led to panic among the residents of the area who vacated their houses immediately.

The fire officials and cops also asked people living around the warehouse to move out as a preventive measure. The fire was reported around 5pm after which several fire tenders were rushed to the spot. By 9pm, 50 fire tenders had to be pressed into service. The warehouse was located beside Sant Nirankari school. The boundary wall of the school was also damaged because of the fire.

The police have filed an FIR to probe the incident. A witness is learnt to have told cops that a labourer was smoking a bidi and threw it while it was lit and this caused the fire. However, the police are yet to confirm the source of the blaze officially.