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Safety check on museums after Delhi fire

The environment ministry has ordered a safety audit of all museums under its purview, following the fire that gutted the National Museum of Natural History, in New Delhi.

Safety check on museums after Delhi fire
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Safety check on museums after Delhi fire

New Delhi

A massive fire destroyed the National Museum of Natural History in FICCI building in central Delhi in the early hours of Tuesday, with many exhibits like herpetological specimens and taxidermied animals gutted. Six fire officials were rushed to hospital after they inhaled excessive smoke during the four-hour operation to control the blaze that broke out early morning. Their condition is said to be stable now, officials said.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who visited the spot, described the fire mishap as “unfortunate” and ordered a safety audit of all museums under his ministry. “Museum of Natural History is a national heritage. Thousands of exhibits were there and thousands of people visited every day,” he said, adding that officials were ascertaining the extent of the damage and ways to restore it. 

The fire broke out on the top floor of the museum, located in FICCI Building in Mandi House, where some repair work was underway and quickly spread to all other floors of the building. As many as 35 fire tenders were pressed into service. It took firefighters more than four hours to douse the blaze.

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