NEW DELHI: Three children, including a six-month-old boy, were killed and another child was injured when a fire broke out in a slum cluster in Delhi’s New Usmanpur area.
The fire that started at around 11.30 pm last night gutted over a dozen shanties in the east Delhi neighbourhood.
Police suspect the fire was caused by a short circuit and three gas cylinders explosions.
Eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot and 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-month-old boy Mubarak, police said. They were siblings.
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,” Ms Maliwal said.
“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 added.
Ms Maliwal said a doctor was called to the spot during her visit and the mother was rushed to a nearby hospital.