In a tragic incident, three siblings including a six-month-old boy were killed and another child was injured when a fire broke out in a slum cluster in the city’s New Usmanpur area.
Police suspected the fire, which broke out at around 11.30 PM last night and gutted over a dozen shanties, was caused by a short circuit and three gas cylinders explosions. Eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot that took around three hours to douse the flames, fire department officials said.
The three killed have been identified as Reena (10), Meena (7) and six months old boy Mubarak. Another child in their neighbourhood, Shakhuddin, also got trapped inside a burning shanty. He is now hospitalised with 60 per cent burn injuries, police said.
Shakhuddin’s father Allah Rakha suffered burn injuries while trying to save the children. Also, two buffaloes were killed in the fire, they said.
Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal, who visited the slum cluster to take stock of the situation, said she will take up the matter with Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to seek compensation for the victims’ kin.
“Though nothing can compensate such a huge loss (of lives), we will write to the DLSA seeking compensation for the family of the victims,” Maliwal said.
She said it is the “saddest” thing that could ever happen to a family.
“The family is very poor, they had a tarpaulin sheet on their head. So when it burnt, the mother managed to escape but it fell on the children. The mother was inconsolable,” she said.
Maliwal said a doctor was called to the spot during her visit and the mother was rushed to a nearby hospital.