Firefighter killed, 14 injured in Indian capital factory fire

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Machines remove the debris of a factory that collapsed during a fire in New Delhi, India, Jan. 2, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

A firefighter who was rescued hours after being caught under debris of a collapsed factory building Thursday succumbed to injuries in a hospital in New Delhi, officials said.

At least 14 people, including 13 firefighters, were injured in the devastating fire at Delhi's Peera Garhi area. Three people including a civilian were rescued from the debris of the building.

"A firefighter who was trapped underneath the debris of the collapsed building has succumbed in the hospital during treatment," a police official said.

The fire inside the factory making batteries broke out at 4:23 a.m. local time on Thursday. Officials said a blast inside the factory resulted in its collapse, trapping people, mostly firefighters.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed grief over the death of the firefighter.

"We have to tell with great sadness that while saving the lives of people during fire, one of our brave firemen was martyred. Our firefighters put their lives in extremely risky conditions to save trapped people. May his soul rest in peace," Kejriwal wrote on Twitter over the death of the firefighter.

Authorities rushed 35 fire tenders to the spot to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading.

Following the collapse of the building, the fire department officials said they were forced to conduct the firefighting from the wall of an adjacent building. The fire fighting operations were underway until the last reports poured in.

The factory housed combustible materials and plastics in huge quantities, which aggravated the fire, police said.

Witnesses said columns of smoke were billowing from the spot and leaping up in the sky.

The cause of the fire was being ascertained.

Last month, a fire inside an old building in the city killed 43 people and injured many others.

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