Written by Promit Chakroborty and Anshuman Singh
A four-year-old boy died while his parents and grandmother sustained burn injuries after a fire broke out at their housing complex in South Delhi’s RK Puram Sector 12 Tuesday night. The boy, Abhinav, died of inhaling smoke, police said. His father, Pankaj, works with the Ministry of Commerce while his mother, Swati, works for the Defence Ministry, police said.
The injured were rushed to AIIMS Trauma Centre where Abhinav was declared dead on arrival, while his parents and grandmother Darshana (74) were admitted to the ICU, and are undergoing treatment. Two police officers were also injured in the rescue operation. “The fire was caused by a short circuit in a junction box near the stairwell leading to their houses upstairs. Entry to the stairwell was blocked by two motorbikes, which also caught fire,” said a police officer. “The wiring in the housing complex is faulty. The electric meter cannot take the load during summers with air conditioning units running in all houses,” a resident said.
Delhi Fire Services (DFS) officials said occupants of flat number 743 called them around 1 am after hearing what sounded like firecrackers going off. “We received a call from flat 743 at 1.12 am and sent three fire tenders to the spot. The fire was controlled by 2.05 am,” said Atul Garg, Chief Fire Officer, Delhi Fire Service. “I heard a loud bang. Once I realised there was a fire, my family and I evacuated the flat. We tried to douse the fire but that did not help. We then called the fire brigade, police and an ambulance,” said Veena, a resident.
When the fire fighters arrived, they tried to enter Pankaj’s house, but there was no response. “After we finally managed to enter, we found all family members lying unconscious as they had inhaled smoke,” said a fire official.