Three kids charred in slum fire

Another critical with 80 per cent burns in hospital

Three siblings, including two girls and a six-month-old boy, were killed and another child suffered serious burn injuries after a major fire broke out in a slum in northeast Delhi’s New Usmanpur on Saturday night.

Police suspect the fire, which broke out around 11.30 pm and gutted over a dozen shanties, was caused by a short circuit.

“We got a call of fire at 11.30 pm on Saturday. Immediately, 10 fire tenders were sent to the spot. It took around 45 minutes to douse the fire which had destroyed 18-20 shanties and killed three children of a family,” said Veenu Bansal, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East).

Reena,10, Meena,7, and a six-month-old Mubarak, along with their mother were in their jhuggi when the fire broke out.

The children were trapped in their shanties and except one, the others could not be saved despite the launch of an immediate joint rescue operation by police and fire officials.

“The father of the children is a ragpicker. He had gone out to collect waste items, leaving their children in the custody of their mother. They had a tarpaulin sheet on their head. So when it burnt, the mother managed to escape but it fell on the children,” said a police officer.

Another child in their neighbourhood Shakhuddin also got trapped inside a burning shanty, but was pulled out in time saving his life. He is, however, in a critical condition. Shakhuddin’s father suffered burn injuries while trying to save the children. Also, two buffaloes were killed in the fire.

“We could save the life of only one child who has received over 80 per cent burn injuries and battling for his life in a city hospital,” said a police officer.

The fire fighters found out three charred bodied of the children from one of the shanties.

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