Thirty people including 20 children suffered various degrees of burns when a cooking gas cylinder reportedly burst on Tuesday morning. Their condition is stable now.
Police said most of the injured children, in the age group of 4 and 12 years, were asleep in their huts when the cylinder burst.
The cylinder burst in a slum cluster near Premwari Bridge in AO- Block in Shalimar Bagh around 8:30. The fire rapidly spread to seven hutments in which 20 children, six men and four women were injured.
Officials of the fire department said they were informed about the fire around 8:44 am. "We dispatched the fire tenders and informed other emergency services as soon as we came to know about the incident," said a senior fire official on the condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to media.
Police suspected it was a leakage that led to the gas cylinder blast. The fire tenders could control the blaze only after around one hour.
Municipal Corporation of Delhi Standing Committee Chairman Ram Kishan Singhal has directed Municipal Commissioner K.S. Mehra to ensure that commercial activities are not run in slum clusters.
“These areas should be exclusively used for residential purpose. Such clusters run along on Ring Road and are very unsafe and a fire hazard,” said Singhal.
The police said the fire started from the hut of Muni Ram, a daily wager.
“They told us that they were making tea when the fire started. The cylinder reportedly burst as soon as Ram’s wife Rani Devi lit the gas stove,” said a senior police officer.