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article imageIndia's National Museum of Natural History gutted by huge blaze

By Karen Graham     Apr 26, 2016 in World
Delhi - A massive fire that started in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday has gutted six floors of the New Delhi Museum of natural History. The museum is India's first and only natural history museum.
The fire broke out on the top floor of the National Museum of Natural History in Delhi at around 2:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday. It took over 100 firefighters and 35 engines over three hours to get the blaze under control.
Reuters is reporting six firefighters were sent to the hospital after being overcome by smoke and were treated and released. The museum had scores of exhibits of plants and animals, among them a 160-million-year-old dinosaur fossil, as well as a reference library for scholars with over 15,000 books.
India's Minister of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar visited the site Tuesday morning, "This is tragic, the Natural History Museum is a national treasure... the loss cannot be counted in rupees," he said, according to the Times of India.
A spokesman for the ministry said Javadekar has asked for an assessment of the damages, as well as an accounting of what has been lost, adding, "Once we have that in hand we will then look into how to restore any damaged artifacts."
The museum has been renting space in the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) building since it was opened in 1978 by Indira Gandhi. The museum is very popular with school children.
Sadly, according to the Daily Mail, the building's firefighting system was out of operation because part of the building was being renovated. Rajesh Panwar, deputy chief of the Delhi Fire Service said, "The damage is huge. If the fire provisions were working, the fire could have been controlled well in time."
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