26 April 2016 : The National Museum of Natural History in FICCI building was engulfed with a major fire in the early hours of Tuesday. The fire destroyed many exhibits like taxidermies animals and herpetological specimens. The fire broke out on the top floor of the museum where repair work was under progress. The fire soon engulfed the entire building.
The museum was established in 1972 and comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests which has around 34 other museums under it including the Botanical Survey of India and Zoological Survey of India ones.
The fire broke out at 1.45 am and took 4 hours and 35 fire officials to gain control over it. Six fire officials had to be rushed to the hospital due to excessive smoke inhalation.
The Museum of Natural History is National heritage and the Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar termed the incident as unfortunate and a huge loss for the country. The minister was quick to order a safety audit of all museums under his ministry.
The museum had many exhibits and was visited by a large number of people every day. Officials are in the process to try and restore the damage done.
The fire is anticipated to have caused a big loss in terms of the exhibits. The real picture will be clear only when the officials evaluate the extent of damage done.