The headline of one Daily News & Analysis reads "Bangalore fire department commits murder during drill". As you might imagine there is outrage over a drill conducted on Friday at a garment factory. The woman was apparently following fire department instructions when she tried to lower herself from a rope third floor of the building.
The Fire department admitted to the lapses on their side after a 22-year-old woman died in the fire mock drill conducted in Bangalore on Friday.
Nalina Reddy, and employee of Bombay Rayon Fashion Limited in Yeshwantpur died after the rope by which she was coming down a 3-storey building snapped.
Nalina, a labour welfare officer at Bombay Rayon Fashions Limited (BFRL), fell from the third floor after her rope harness snapped. The rope was purchased by the fire department some four years ago and some employees of BFRL had pointed out to firemen prior to the drill that it did not look fit to take the load. Nevertheless, the fire department went ahead with the live demonstration with untrained employees.
Nalina was only the second employee to be lowered after her male colleague, Keerthi, descended to the ground, about 50 feet below. There were at least 800 BRFL employees who had gathered for the drill which started around 11.30 am, according to KT Kannan, production manager of Unit 14, BRFL.
Nalina climbed out of the window and was supposed to be lowered using the coir rope. As soon as she was suspended in the air, the rope snapped. The smart guys at the fire department had forgotten that a rope tends to snap because of friction — and they had not installed a pulley to lower the volunteers.
She was rushed to Panacea Hospital in Basaveshwaranagar, where she was declared ‘brought dead’.
Amidst public outcry over the death of a 24-year-old woman during a mock fire drill, a top official today admitted there were no standard operating procedures in place while conducting such an exercise even as a probe was ordered into the incident. "Nalini died because there were no safety procedures followed by the fire officials," IGP (Fire) N Shivakumar told reporters, referring to the death of the garment factory worker who died yesterday. "There was no safety net at the ground," he said. Nalini had fallen to her death from the third floor of the factory when the rope by which she was coming down snapped. The drill was being conducted by the Fire Department in the premises of Bombay Rayon Fashion Limited in Peenya Industrial Area in north Bangalore to test the preparedness of factory workers and fire officials during a fire.
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