The National Museum of Natural History burning down to 'a crisp'

On April 26th, 2016, massive fires swirled around the six-storied building of the National Museum of Natural History in New Delhi, India at around 1:45 a.m., resulting in irreversible damages to the rarest of the flora and fauna collections in the facilities. In lieu of failures in the water system as reported by eye-witnesses, a spokesperson from the Delhi Fire Service was quoted saying that they had to draw in water from the nearest metro station, which resulted in the extensive damage to the building. Due to the fire occurring during the closed hours of the museum, there were no casualties, although five firefighters were admitted to the hospital due to excessive inhalation of the smoke from the building.

The museum itself was established in the year 1972, and was accounted for as one of the only two museums at hand that solely focused on the subject of nature in India. Being under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, it contained a massive collection of a range of butterflies and reptilian creatures, including one life-sized model of a dinosaur. Amongst these, some of the rare exhibits such as the collection of taxi-dermied animals were lost in the fire, as indicated in numerous first-hand reports.

In the aftermath of the incident, the minister of environment, Prakash Javadekar, had visited what was left of the museum, and had made the claim of a wide scale order for an energy and fire audit of all relative facilities in the concerned ministry across the country. Stating the entire incident as a huge blow to the nation, he laid assurance upon the fact, that with the following audit, he will ensure that such incidents would not happen in the coming future.

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