New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Delhi government and the city police chief over the death of four persons in a fire at an illegal workshop in Karol Bagh here.Also Read - Delhi Unlocks Further as Kejriwal Allows Academic Meets in Schools, Colleges With Restrictions | Check Guidelines

The commission has observed that the accident could have been averted, if the authorities had executed their designated duties sincerely. Also Read - Govt Clears Air on Central Vista, PM House Plan, Says 'False Narrative Being Circulated'

The NHRC has taken suo moto cognisance of media reports that an illegal factory caught fire in a congested area of Karol Bagh, in which four workers were charred to death while another is battling for his life, the rights panel said in a statement Thursday. Also Read - Coronavirus in India 26 April 2021 Highlights: Situation in India Beyond Heartbreaking, Says WHO Chief

The commission has issued notices to the Delhi chief secretary and the commissioner of police, seeking detailed reports within four weeks.

“The commission would like to know about the action taken against the negligent public servants and steps taken to ensure that these kinds of tragic incidents do not recur,” it said.

“It seems that there were no fire fighting arrangements available at the factory operating in a residential area. “The incident raises several issues regarding working of civic authorities in the national capital, as well as police authorities, who are responsible to manage the traffic to avoid congestion, so that in case of any emergency the fire tenders could reach close the site of the incident, within time,” the statement said.

Four people had died in a fire at the illegal workshop in Beadonpura area Monday after one of the workers, a heavily-built man, had got stuck at the exit door while escaping and blocked the route for others, fire fighters had said.

Among the deceased was a 55-year-old man, who was eagerly preparing for his daughter’s wedding, relatives had said.

The deceased were identified as Bagan Prasad (55), Ram (40), Aarti (20) and Asha (40), police said.

Police had said the owner of the house, Ajay Khurana (45), was arrested and a case under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) registered.

“According, to the media report, carried on November 20, fire officials have stated that though they had reached close to the accident site within a few minutes, but due to congestion on the road, the vehicle could not be brought closer and they had to use their pipes to douse the flames from a distance,” the NHRC statement said.

A senior official from Central Delhi district had reportedly said that one of the workers was pouring a white solvent in a spray machine when it suddenly caught fire, it said.

The solvent usually has petroleum, due to which it is highly inflammable, the statement said.

“The owner of the factory, as mentioned in the news report, was present at the time of incident, but he fled from the spot when the fire broke out. Bodies of the workers were found in a room at the back of the building from where they had tried to escape, but got asphyxiated due to heavy smoke,” the NHRC statement said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.