Six killed in factory fire: Owner held, raids on to nab second accused

Police sources Sunday said the accused, Surbhi Garg, was nabbed from her residence in Paschim Vihar on Thursday.

Nearly three weeks after a massive fire inside a factory in West Delhi’s Udyog Nagar killed six workers, police arrested one of the owners of the three-storey building.

Police sources Sunday said the accused, Surbhi Garg, was nabbed from her residence in Paschim Vihar on Thursday. She owns the building along with her husband Pankaj Garg, who is on the run. The couple used to run shoe and garment manufacturing units inside the building.

Police said Surbhi was produced before the court which sent her to judicial custody. Raids are being conducted in Delhi and Haryana to arrest Pankaj.

The fire broke out on June 21 at 8 am, trapping 12 workers. While six were rescued, the others were reported missing. Officials sent 33 fire tenders to the spot and around 140 firefighters took more than six hours to control the blaze.

DCP (Outer) Parvinder Singh had earlier said that the Forensic Science Lab team found charred remains, but the victims are yet to be identified. “As the building was unstable, the FSL team could only enter on June 25; they collected samples for DNA profiling. Two phones were also recovered which were identified by families of Shamshad and Vikram (missing workers),” he said.

Police had booked Pankaj under IPC section 308 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). “He and his family own the building and run the small factories inside it. Surbhi owns two of the units,” said a police officer.

Families of the other missing workers — Abhishek, Neeraj, Raju, and Ajay — said they haven’t received any update in the case. Police said they are awaiting the DNA test results but it’s difficult to ascertain anything since the remains collected were “highly decomposed and charred”.

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