One dead, 400 slum dwellings gutted in Delhi fires

Last Updated: Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 14:45

New Delhi: A person was burnt to death and 400 slum dwellings gutted in two fire incidents in the slum areas of the capital early Sunday, a fire official said.

In a fire that broke out in a slum area near Patparganj in east Delhi, a person died and two were injured.

"We got a call (about the fire) at 2.47 am. Eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot," the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) official said.

Four slum dwellings were gutted. The fire was brought under control in an hour.

Another fire broke out in a slum area near Shalimar Bagh in northwest Delhi within almost an hour of the earlier incident.

"We got to know about the fire at 4.00 am. Twenty seven fire tenders were rushed to the area," the official said.

The fire was brought under control after one and a half hour of fire fighting.

"No one has been reported injured but 400 slum dwellings were gutted," he said.

"We are investigating the reason for the fire," a police official said.

The month of April has seen several fire incidents in the slum areas of the capital.

At least 28 people, including 21 children and four women, suffered burns in a blaze caused by a leaking gas cylinder at a tea shop in Shalimar Bagh Tuesday.

In another incident the same day, 175 slum dwellings were gutted in Shaheen Bagh of southeast Delhi.

In the wake of the slum fire incidents, Municipal Corporation of Delhi`s (MCD) standing committee chairman Ram Kishan Singhal directed Municipal Commissioner KS Mehra to ensure that no commercial activities were run in slum areas.

Demanding the resettlement of slum inhabitants at safer places, Singhal said he had appealed to the Delhi government dozens of times about this but to no avail.

DFS Director RC Sharma said that the fires in slum areas were caused by a combination of extreme heat wave which makes the material of which the slum dwellings were made more combustible and the overloading and short-circuits in electric wires.

He added that people should be made aware of the risk of fire, the means to avoid it and ways to escape.

IANS



First Published: Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 14:45

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