Tribune press service
Panchkula, November 2
Three people, including two women, died of suffocation and severe burns when a fire broke out at a furniture factory, Westwood, in the industrial estate, phase II, here this afternoon.
The deceased have been identified as Avdesh Kumar (21), a resident of Mauli Jagran, Sonali Devi (30), who lived with his family in a factory in Panchkula, and Mamta, originally from Nepal.
At least 10 fire engines have been put into service. It took about three hours for the firefighters to bring the blaze under control. A short circuit would have been the cause of the fire.
The fire started around 1:30 p.m. on the second floor of the factory located at plot number 268. It then spread to the first floor destroying furniture and other items worth Rs 30 lakh. Avdesh Kumar and Sonali Devi died on the factory premises.
Avdesh’s brother Krishan Pal said a lot of furniture and other belongings were kept on the second floor of the factory, leaving little room for movement. He said Avdesh and Sonali, who were on the second floor, were unable to escape for their lives and became unconscious due to thick smoke. They suffered burns, resulting in their immediate death. He said Avdesh got married almost four months ago.
Sonali’s husband Satyanarayan said that with his death there would be no one to care for their two children, Neha and Mahesh, as he had to go to work in a factory. After receiving information about the incident, senior police officials arrived at the scene. Panchkula ACP Vijay Kumar Nehra, DSP Sardara Singh, Sector 20 Police Station SHO and Deputy Police Commissioner Mohit Handa also arrived.
Haryana Assembly Speaker and Local MP Gian Chand Gupta, Panchkula Mayor Kulbhushan Goyal and Councilor Harender Malik also reached the place and looked for information about the reason for the incident. Offering condolences to the families of the victims, Gupta assured that all possible help would be provided to them. He also asked the district firefighter, Tarsem, to confirm whether there was a fire hydrant in the industrial area and whether it was working or not. He said a proposal would be sent to him to install a fire hydrant in the area in case it was not available.