New Delhi, Jun 30 (PTI) A 45-year-old woman, two of her sons and a daughter died of suffocation on Wednesday when a fire broke out at their Shahdara residence following an LPG cylinder explosion, Delhi Fire Service (DFS) officials said.
According to the DFS, a call about a cylinder blast in Shahdara's Farsh Bazaar area was received around midnight on Tuesday and nine fire tenders were rushed to the spot.
A portion of the roof had collapsed due to the explosion, the fire officials said, adding that a gas stove repair shop was located in the front portion of the house.
'A fire broke out in a house due to a leakage in an LPG gas cylinder, resulting in the death of four people due to smoke inhalation, while another person sustained burn injuries and was shifted to the Hedgewar hospital,' DFS Director Atul Garg said.
Police said Munni Devi, her two sons, Om Prakash (22) and Naresh (23), and daughter Sunita (18) died of suffocation, while another son, Lal Chand (29), sustained 30 per cent burns in the incident.
'All five were rescued by the fire service personnel with the help of police by breaking the windows and doors of the house. They were then shifted to the Hedgewar hospital by CATS ambulances. Four among them were declared brought dead by doctors,' Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) R Sathiyasundaram said.
A crime team was also called to the spot for an inspection, the officer said, adding that an electrical short-circuit is suspected to have sparked the blaze.
Recalling the incident, Chand, the lone survivor, said he was talking on the phone late at night when his mother interrupted the call. Within a few minutes, he saw the terrace of the house collapse. He found out about the cylinder blast and tried to open the door, which got blocked.
'I tried to open the door but it got blocked. My siblings were struggling to breathe, so they stood near the window, but they ultimately died due to suffocation,' he said.
Chand lost his father in an accident last year and has been living in the house on rent with his family for the last eight years.
He said the house was located adjacent to a shop where gas was refilled from bigger cylinders to smaller cylinders.
A case has been registered under sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 304A (causing death by negligence) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the owner of the gas stove repair shop and his niece, according to the police. PTI AMP RC