Five of a family charred to death on wedding day

Five of a family charred to death on wedding day

A wedding day turned gloomy in south Delhi’s Jasola Vihar on Friday morning when a blaze caused by a leaking LPG cylinder left five members of a family – three women and two children – charred to death.

There were about 35 people, mostly women and children, in the two-bedroom house at 11 am, the time of the blaze, as most of the men of the family had left for an outstation location to attend the wedding.

The victims included the groom’s mother Munnissira, 40, four-year-old girl Iram and three-year-old Sarah. The people had assembled on the first floor of the recently constructed six-storey building.

There were much fewer people, mostly tenants, on the upper floors at the time of the blaze.
Design trap

The kitchen was located near the entrance of the house and the police said that aspect of the house’s design prevented the inmates from escaping.

Eyewitnesses said the pipe of one of the two LPG cylinders at the house was damaged and a woman noticed that. As she tried to plug that hole, the pipe was disconnected and the gas began leaking rapidly. The blast occured around 11 am.

“One of the men at the house began removing people from inside. Some ran upstairs, some others rushed down. But before all could be removed, the room caught fire and those inside were burnt,” said a senior police officer.

Groom Mohd Islam’s cousin Shakir said the rotating ceiling fans in the rooms helped the cooking gas spread even to the inner rooms. “We tried to throw sand and water, but the fire spread rapidly. We even used a submersible pump to extinguish the flames,” he told this newspaper.

By the time a fire tender arrived at the spot about 30 minutes later, the five persons were already dead. “The bodies are unrecognisable. We had to seek help from the victims’ family to identify them,” said the officer.

The fire tenders helped prevent fire from spreading to other floors of the house and to the neighbouring buildings in the crowded locality of Jasola village. The groom Islam’s 30-year-old aunt Mohsina and his uncle’s mother-in-law Bhoori Khatoon, 55, were the other two persons killed in the fire.

Asma, a family member present at the accident spot, told Deccan Herald that a girl child Iram, killed in the blaze, had been adopted by one of Islam’s uncle and aunt. Islam and his father Idrish ran a tobacco products shop in the area. The family also depended on the rent received from the other flats in their building.

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