New Delhi: The (NMNH) National Museum of Natural History was completely destroyed in a major fire in central Delhi earlyon Tuesday.
The fire initiated at the museum, housed in the FICCI complex at Mandi House near Connaught Place, at around 1.45 amon the top floor of the six-story building and quickly engulfed other floors.
The FICCI complex also housed the FICCI Auditorium and FICCI Headquarters but they were rumored to be safe.
As many as 35 fire engines were pressed into service to douse the fire which was brought under supervision at around 5 am.
6 fire brigade personnel were injured and were admitted to the adjacent Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. 2 of them are reported to be critical.
Since the fire broke out late in the night, not many people were inside the building which was under renovation.
Reports quoted fire brigade officials as saying that fire safety mechanisms inside the building were not functioning, which led to the spread of the blaze.
“The building’s fire safety mechanisms were not working, still we controlled it within 2 hours,” Rajesh Panwar, a fire officer, told ANI news agency.
It has yet to be ascertained what caused the fire.
Meanwhile, Union Environment Minister Mr. Prakash Javadekar visited the FICCI complex to take stock of the situation.
“This is tragic, the Natural History Museum is a national entity. Firemen are still at the spot,” Javadekar said after reviewing the situation.
The minister declared that he has ordered a fire safety audit of all museums across the country.
“We have 34 museums all over the country, have ordered a fire audit of all establishments,” he stated.