A fire in the densely populated Amar Colony left the Delhi Police in a tizzy, as one of the victims was found from the debris after 18 hours - even though the fire department had cleared away all the bodies.
Two people were killed and 11 others were seriously injured, most belonging to the same family when a fire engulfed a shawl-sampling unit at a building in E-Block on Tuesday night.
Police are investigating the case from all angles but they believe that the fire might have been an act of sabotage.
They were in for a shock on Wednesday when they found another body of Mohammed Mukeem in the basement of the three-storey building after it was cleared by the fire services. The body was completely charred.
"The PCR call was made at 9.10pm on Tuesday. Preliminary investigations by the CFSL team have revealed that a cylinder blast triggered the fire at the basement of the four storeyed building. The deceased have been identified as Mohammed Mushtaq (46), the owner of the godown and Mukeem, his employee," said Virender Singh Chahal, additional commissioner of police (south east).
The police said 13 people were employed in the basement at the time of the incident including the members of Mushtaq's family and relatives. They are all from Srinagar. The police conducted the medical examination of seven injured, four being members of a family.
Yaseer Ahmad, Mushtaq's youngest son said, "I was in the park opposite the house. A resident welfare association meeting was on. I heard the blast and rushed to my house. My elder brother Nasser Ahmed too came with me and it was when he tried entering the basement that he too suffered burn injuries."
The injured have been identified as Bilquis Ahmad (44), Mushtaq's wife; Nazima Altaf, his niece, is fighting for her life with 50% burns. Nasser Ahmad (22) and his sister Inshu (18) are out of danger.
Seven fire tenders were rushed to the spot and managed to douse the fire only at 1 am. The fire started from the basement but engulfed the entire first and second floor in no time. The family was living on the ground floor of the building for the last 10-years. The neighbours rescued the first floor residents.
The impact of the blast left six cars damaged; also, the shawls kept in the basement flew to a height of 50 metres and got entangled in a nearby tree.