At least 43 killed in ‘horrific’ factory fire in India’s capital Dec 09, 2019 0 979 12345 AFPNew DelhiAt least 43 people were killed on Sunday in a devastating fire that ripped through a bag factory in the cramped, congested old quarter of the Indian capital New Delhi, trapping scores of workers who were sleeping inside.The blaze was the worst in Delhi since 59 movie-goers died in a cinema in 1997, with the city’s poor planning and enforcement of building and safety regulations often responsible for such deadly incidents.Tearful relatives spoke of receiving desperate calls from factory workers from around 5:00am (23:30 GMT) pleading to be freed from the inferno in the dark, poorly lit premises in the commercial hub of Sadar Bazar.The four-storey building was home to a series of manufacturing units producing items including schools bags and packing materials which only worsened the spread of the fire, officials said. Locals said the factory also made purses.“Most of the casualties happened because of suffocation,” witness Mohammed Khalil told AFP. “After the fire, people didn’t have any way to get out and I believe many were asleep and because of the smoke, they got suffocated.” Outside a nearby hospital morgue, anxious relatives and friends gathered to identify the bodies. Naushad Ahmad, was desperately looking for his friend who remained missing, unable to reach him on his mobile phone.“There was only one exit and entrance to the building, with all the electricity meters installed at the main door... People didn’t get a chance to escape.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the fire was “extremely horrific”, as state and national authorities said they would offer financial assistance to the victims’ families and to survivors.Sajjamuddin Ahmad spent two hours searching for his father-in-law and brother-in-law among the bodies and injured before discovering they were dead, he told AFP.“I don’t know whether they are alive or dead,” Noorjehan Bano, whose father and brother-in-law worked and lived in the factory, told AFP outside one of the hospitals.Families of the victims said they were mostly migrant workers who had come from Bihar, one of India’s most impoverished states. Some of them were paid just 1,000 rupees ($14) a month, they added.Locals had called the police and emergency services as the blaze lit up the early morning sky, but firefighters struggled to reach the victims amid the narrow lanes.Police and fire officials said at least 58 others were rescued. RELATED ARTICLES 30,000 MONKS ATTEND MASS ALMS-GIVING IN MYANMAR Dec 09, 2019 0 555 UK’s Johnson leaves political future open in case of Tory defeat in Thursday’s vote Dec 09, 2019 0 621 Kim has ‘everything’ to lose with hostile acts, warns Trump Dec 09, 2019 0 974 Jury would convict Trump ‘in 3 minutes flat,’ says key lawmaker AFP Washington The chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee said on Sunday that if the impeachment case against President Donald Trump were put to a jury, there “would be a guilty verdict in three minutes flat.” .. Polio returns to haunt Malaysia after almost 30 years Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia has reported its first polio case in 27 years, health authorities said on Sunday, announcing a three-month-old baby had been diagnosed on Borneo island. The Malaysian health ministry’s .. Afghan vote count impasse no closer to resolution, two months after poll DPA Kabul Two months after presidential elections in Afghanistan, a meeting aimed at finding a solution on how to handle 300,000 disputed votes failed to bring about a breakthrough on Sunday. The votes could determine .. Pope gives plum job to Filipino cardinal tipped as possible successor Vatican City: Pope Francis on Sunday promoted Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, a man tipped as one of his possible successors, to a key position within the Vatican administration. Tagle was appointed head of the .. Scotland would vote for independence if Brexit goes ahead London: Scotland would vote in favour of independence if Brexit goes ahead, but would vote to against it if Britain remains in the European Union, according to a poll released on Sunday. The poll, conducted on behalf of the ..