3 firemen killed as building collapses in Jammu
Jammu, Feb 12: Three firemen were killed and six persons injured when a three-storey building collapsed in Jammu city on Wednesday when fire department personnel were trying to put out a blaze, officials said.
Director General of Fire and Emergency Services, V K Singh said the building in Golepulli area of Tallab Tillo, housing a saw mill on the ground floor, collapsed during the fire fighting operation.
“We lost three personnel in the incident, while six persons — four civilians and two firemen — were rescued in an injured condition and were evacuated to a hospital,” Singh, who supervised the rescue operation, was quoted as saying by PTI.
Soon after the incident, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and police rushed to the scene and were later joined by a team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to rescue the trapped persons.
After hectic efforts, the bodies of the three trapped firefighters identified as Vimal Kumar Raina, Rattan Chand and Mohammad Aslam were retrieved from under the debris, Singh said.
He said the fire department rushed firefighters after receiving a distress call at 4.48 am and were making efforts to put out the blaze when suddenly the building collapsed at 5.30 am.
“We have rescued four trapped civilians in the morning while two of our personnel suffered injuries. All the rescued persons were evacuated and taken to a hospital,” Singh said, adding that while one of the firemen is being treated for serious burn injuries, the other is undergoing treatment for head injuries.
“There was a huge stock of timber in the saw mill and a gas cylinder also exploded during the fire as a result of which the building collapsed due to intense heat,” the DG said.
He said the NDRF team was mobilized from Pathankot to assist in the rescue operation.
Lauding the role of the Fire and Emergency Services department in restricting the blaze in the congested area, Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma said despite suffering casualties, the firefighters did a tremendous job in controlling the fire and rescuing trapped civilians.
“It is a tragic incident and we are looking into the cause of the fire. It is a matter of investigation whether the building was unsafe,” he told reporters.
An official of the NDRF said they got the call at around 6 am and joined the rescue effort around 8.30 am.
“The rescue operation took time as we have to make an approach through the debris to reach the trapped persons,” he said, adding that no one else is believed to be trapped under the rubble.