Two children were charred to death and six persons injured on Saturday in a fire that gutted nearly 50 shanties in a slum cluster at Navada village in Sector 62.
According to officials, the fire was suspected to have broken out due to cooking gas leakage. As many as four large LPG cylinders and 60 small LPG cylinders were recovered from the debris.
“It appears that majority of the families had two cylinders, which exploded in the fire,” said Mahaveer Singh, chief fire officer of Gautam Budh Nagar.
“According to an initial investigation, one of the residents was cooking food, without realising that the gas was leaking.
About 50 shanties were gutted in the fire within half-an-hour. Four tenders were rushed to the site to extinguish the flames,” said Mahaveer Singh, chief fire officer of Gautam Budh Nagar.
The two children were asleep when the fire broke out. The deceased were identified as four-year-old Sangeeta and five-year-old Suba Rao. The injured have been admitted to the district hospital.
All victims are labourers, who work at nearby factories. “We lost everything in the fire. We did not even get time to save our belongings,” said Iqram Mallik, one of the victims.
According to officials, small LPG cylinders, which come in a capacity of 5kg, have been reasons behind recent fire incidents. These cylinders do not bear the name of manufacturer. Authorities have repeatedly asked residents not to use such cylinders.
“We keep a tab on illegal LPG refilling in the city. We have lodged FIRs against shopkeepers, who indulge in such refillings. But we can not do much in this regard. There should be a check on manufacturers of these cylinders,” said Santosh Kumar, district supply officer.