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Driver charred to death after van catches fire in South Delhi

Romil Baaniya, deputy commissioner of police (south), said the blaze could have been triggered by a collision with another vehicle.

delhi Updated: Aug 12, 2018 01:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Van driver,Charred,Fire
The accident took place while the victim was transporting copies of newspapers to Gurugram from its printing press in Noida.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A 23-year-old driver of an Eeco van was charred to death after his vehicle caught fire at a traffic junction in south Delhi’s Sheikh Sarai in the early hours of Saturday, police said.

Romil Baaniya, deputy commissioner of police (south), said the front portion of the van was badly damaged, suggesting the blaze was triggered by a collision with another vehicle.

“It appears the van was at high speed while taking a turn at the BRT Road near Sheikh Sarai. We would be able to comment after identifying and interrogating the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident,” said the DCP.

The officer identified the dead man by his first name, Sumit, a native of Sonepat, Haryana. The accident took place while Sumit was transporting copies of newspapers to Gurugram from its printing press in Noida.

“The van is registered in the name of a man from east Delhi’s Jyoti Nagar but was being run by a resident of Sonepat,” said the officer. Sumit had been hired by the van owner around six months ago and he would routinely drive the vehicle from Noida to Gurugram every morning.

The accident happened around 1.45 am and the police received a call five minutes later. The caller informed that the van was loaded with newspapers and the driver was trapped inside.

“There were no eyewitnesses to the accident. People began gathering at the spot only after the van went up in flames,” said the officer.

Videos taken by passersby showed the vehicle engulfed in flames even as some people threw objects at it, apparently in their attempts to save the victim by breaking the van’s windows.

But by the time the fire tenders doused the flames and the driver was rushed to Safdarjung Hospital, he had died, said the officer. It then took the police several hours to find the vehicle owner, who helped identify the victim charred behind recognition.

Police said they have registered a case of causing death due to negligence at Ambedkar Nagar police station and efforts are on to identify the other vehicle that was probably involved in the accident.

First Published: Aug 12, 2018 01:16 IST