3 missing firemen in Ludhiana factory fire perceived to be dead as per inquiry report

Ludhiana, Dec 15: The administration’s inquiry report into the three firemen, missing after the plastic factory collapse at a major fire in the building on November 20 that left 16 dead, confirms that the three, whose bodies were never recovered, perished in the debris. The toll figure already accounted for the three men.

“It can be perceived that the three missing firemen — Manohar Lal, Sukhdev and Manpreet — have died in the fire,” says the inquiry report, conducted by sub-divisional magistrate (East) Amarjit Singh Bains.

Even as Ludhiana deputy commissioner Pardeep Kumar Agarwal will take the final call, the report is likely to pave the way for issuing of death certificates to the three families. This legal stamp of the inquiry report on the deaths of three firemen might also help families get compensation.

The government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to families of all those who died. None of the families has been handed over the compensation amount as the administration was waiting for the inquiry report into the missing firemen. The rest of the 13 families have received the death certificates of their kin.

The inquiry was completed on the basis of the statements of the six firemen, on duty that day, but fortunate to have survived. All of them deposed that the three missing firemen were on duty with them when the building collapsed.

The inquiry report states that the three firemen were present in that portion of the factory, where the fire raged most ferociously when the building collapsed.

“As a result of the collapse, there is a strong possibility that their bodies were severely damaged, crushed and then were burnt before these could be recovered,” the report says. “From the statements of all the firemen on duty to douse the flames at the plastic factory that day, it is clear that Sukhdev, Manpreet and Manohar Lal were buried under the debris. As the fire took over five days to douse considering the huge amount of chemical stored in the factory that fuelled the fire, the bodies could have been reduced to ashes,” said Bains.

“I will get the inquiry report legally examined and then decide on the future course of action,” the DC said.

Source Hindustan Times

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