Six children, including a 10-month-girl, were injured when LPG leaked from a neighbouring illegal cylinder filling unit caught fire.
Police said the accident took place at Bhawani Enclave in Sector 10, on Saturday evening. Three of those hurt, Shivani, 10 months, Amit, 12 years and Roshan, 6 years, received up to 60% burns and are critical at Safdarjung hospital, Delhi.
Rest of the injured – Ganga, 13, Priyanshi, 8 and Ruby, 16, -- who got up to 30% burns were admitted to Civil hospital, Gurgaon.
Police said the four injured girls are daughters of Bijender Singh, a resident of Rohtas district in Bihar. He had come to Gurgaon last month along with his wife and daughters. His elder daughter Saraswati is married to a labourer in Gurgaon. She was pregnant and taken to a hospital for delivery on Saturday evening.
Bijender and his wife accompanied the woman to the hospital and left their four daughters behind. They told them that they can ask their neighbour, Kesari Kumar – also a native of Bihar, for help if they need anything.
ACP Hawa Singh said Kumar was running an illegal unit of filling LPG cylinders manually. Even the children had told Kumar that they smelled LPG and that he should check the cylinders. Kumar didn’t listen to them and carried on with his work.
Ruby, one of the victims admitted to the Civil hospital, said, “I had asked uncle (Kumar) not to fill the cylinders. We were feeling uncomfortable due to the smell but he locked our house from outside and kept filling the small LPG cylinders.”
When Kumar didn’t listen, the children went to play in their room. Later in the evening, Ruby went to the adjacent kitchen to boil milk for one of her siblings and as soon as she lighted a match, the room caught fire. LPG from two cylinders that Kumar had kept close to their room had filled up the entire room. The cylinders also burst but they did not cause extensive damage to the building since they were small local bottles and not the usual ones supplied by the petroleum and gas companies.
Alerted by the cries of the children and the noise of the cylinder blast, neighbours rushed to kids’ help. They quickly rushed them to the Civil Hospital. While three of them were admitted, doctors referred the rest with severe burns to the Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital.