Mundka fire: Building owner arrested

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Officials investigate the Mundka fire, in New Delhi on Sunday. Twenty-seven people have died so far in the Mundka fire. Photo: PTI

New Delhi:The owner of a building in outer Delhi's Mundka where a massive fire claimed the lives of at least 27 people was arrested on Sunday, two days after the incident, police said here.

"We received information that Manish Lakra was going towards Haridwar in Uttarakhand. We laid a trap and nabbed him from Ghevra Mod after conducting multiple raids in Delhi and Haryana," Sameer Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer), said.

Lakra used to live on the fourth floor of the commercial building, and he managed to escape to the adjacent building along with his family members when the fire broke out, police said.

The police have recovered 27 bodies so far and identified 14 of them as women and six as men so far, they said. Nineteen people are still unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, 17 people were injured in the fire incident, police said.

The building belonged to Lakra's father, who died in 2015, leaving it to him, they said.

A CCTV camera and router manufacturing and assembling company, in whose office the fire is suspected to have started, had been on the premises since 2017. Its owners - Harish and Vijay Goel, who are brothers, have already been arrested.

A motivational programme was underway on the second floor of the building when the fire broke out. A father-son duo from Australia was conducting the session, the police said.

The programme was organised by the company and all its employees were present.

“Many people were trapped inside the building and could not come out as there was a lot of fire and smoke and had a single entry and exit point," Sharma said.

Lakra was on the run since the fire incident, the DCP said, adding that raids were conducted in Delhi and Haryana to nab him.

There was a shop on the ground floor of the building while the first, second and third floors housed the office of Cofe Impex Pvt. Ltd which imports parts of CCTV cameras and routers and employed around 100 people, a senior police officer said.

The unidentified bodies are preserved in Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital mortuary in Mangolpuri, police said. PTI

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