Fire safety drill turns tragic in Bangalore

Fire safety drill turns tragic in Bangalore

In a cruel twist of irony, a mock drill to boost fire safety awareness of employees claimed the life of a welfare officer, Nalini, at a readymade garment factory in the Yeshwanthpur industrial suburbs here on Friday.

Police inspects the spot where a woman was killed during mock drill by firemen at a building in Yashvanthpur in Bangalore on Friday. -KPN

Twenty-two-year-old Nalini’s enthusiasm to demonstrate safety techniques to her colleagues proved too costly, as the drill, organised by the Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services Department, went dangerously wrong and killed her instantly.

In the mock drill, as many employees of the Bombay Rayon Fashions Limited (Unit-14) watched, Nalini’s colleague first emerged out of a window between the second and third floors of a four-storey building. A rope tied around her waist and chest ensured she was safely secured.

Once the colleague landed, Nalini crawled out of the window. Facing the wall, she started her descent to the ground holding on to the rope which suddenly snapped at the ground peg. As Nalini fell, her head crushed on impact. A critically wounded Nalini was admitted to a Basaveshwarnagar hospital where doctors declared her dead.

A resident of Gauribidnur, Nalini lived with her brother in Kodigehalli. The RMC Yard police attributed the accident to lack of adequate safety measures by the Fire Department and the factory management.

Based on a complaint filed by the victim’s brother Harish, the police registered a case  (causing death by negligence) against the chairman and managing director, general manager and HR manager of the company and the Fire Department. A departmental eqnuiry has been ordered.

A week ago, the HR department of Bombay Rayon Fashions Limited Unit-14, in Yeshwanthpur, wrote to the Fire Department requesting a mock drill to train its employees in tackling emergency situations. The Fire Department fixed the drill for February 24 at 11 am.