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At least 27 killed in commercial building fire in India

Dozens of people have been killed after a fire in a four-storey commercial building on the outskirts of India’s capital Delhi.

At least 27 people have been left dead after the fire in the building – containing mainly shops – in Mundkha, with 12 people suffering burns and 50 evacuated, according to The Press Trust of India.

Firefighters battled the blaze for almost five hours, with 27 fire engines in attendance.

Rescue members and onlookers stand as fire fighters douse a fire that broke out at a commercial building in Delhi's western suburb May 13, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

According to the fire control room, a search operation is continuing to look for anyone trapped in the rubble.

The cause of the fire is as yet unknown.

“Distressed by the tragic fire accident at a building near Mundka Metro Station in Delhi,” India’s President Ram Nath Kovid said on Twitter.

“My condolences to the bereaved families. I wish for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was extremely saddened by the loss of lives.

Fire fighters carry a ladder at the site a fire that broke out at a commercial building in Delhi's western suburb May 13, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

Fires are extremely common in India, with building safety laws regularly flouted by builders and residents.

According to the director of Delhi Fire Services, Atul Garg, the building had no clearance from the fire department and it was not equipped with fire safety equipment, such as extinguishers.

The casualties occurred on the second floor of the building, where inflammable plastic material used for manufacturing equipment like security cameras was stored.

Firefighters douse a fire that broke out at a commercial building in Delhi's western suburb, India May 13, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

The two owners of the security camera company were detained for questioning as the fire reportedly started in their office, The Indian Express reported.

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There was no immediate confirmation by the police.

In 2019, a fire caused by an electrical short circuit engulfed a building in New Delhi and killed 43 people.

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