Three siblings charred to death as the shanty where they were living in caught fire on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday in Gagandeep Colony of Bhattiyan village. Two of the children died at the spot, while the third one died at PGI, Chandigarh.
In the incident, the elder sister of the deceased and their parents also suffered burnt injuries. The injured girl has been admitted to the civil hospital, Ludhiana, from where her parents have been discharged after administrating treatment.
The deceased are Kamna (14 months), her brother Sonu (5 years) and sister Payal (2 years). Sonia (7 years), elder in the siblings, has been admitted to the civil hospital. Kamal and Seema, father and mother of the deceased, are in an inconsolable state after the incident.
Executive magistrate Arvinder Pal Singh visited the spot and investigated. He said the Punjab government announced Rs. 3 lakh as compensation for the family and free treatment for the injured.
The incident occurred at 2 am. Kamal, a scavenger, was sleeping in his shanty at the periphery of the village along with his wife and four children. As there was no electricity connection, they had lit a candle. At around 2 am, the candle fell on the ground and rolled to the walls of the shanty, causing the fire incident. The flames engulfed the whole shanty in a fraction of second.
Kamal said, “The flames engulfed the whole shanty. I started rescuing my children and wife, but I could not rescue Kamna and Sonu who were burnt alive. Villagers rushed to help but their efforts also failed to save the kids.”
Sub-inspector Gurpreet Singh, SHO of Ladhowal police station, said Payal had suffered 95% burn injuries.
Police officials contributed Rs. 8,600 and villagers Rs. 10,000, and gave it to the aggrieved family immediately after the incident for their treatment and survival.
Executive magistrate Arvinder Pal Singh said, “Seeing the critical condition of Payal, doctors of the civil hospital referred her to Rajindra Hospital from where she was referred to PGI, Chandigarh. After Struggling for life for 12 hours, Payal succumbed to her injuries in the afternoon.
According to preliminary investigations, the mishap happened due to the candle, he said.