Two kids charred in fire caused by gas leak in northeast Delhi

Police said that the fire, that led to the death of a 9-month-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, was caused by a leaking gas cylinder in the neighbour’s house

delhi Updated: Oct 17, 2017 00:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Police said the neighbour was running an illegal racket of refuelling gas cylinders in his house.(REUTERS)

A fire caused by a cooking gas cylinder leak in a northeast Delhi residence killed two children, including a nine-month-old, while leaving their parents critically injured, on Wednesday morning.

The toddler, Rohan, died at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital on Saturday, while his four -year-old sister Radhika succumbed to her burn injuries in the hospital on Monday morning. Their father, 32-year-old Vipul Das, and mother, 28-year-old Heena, are still recuperating.

AK Singla, deputy commissioner of police (northeast), said the gas cylinder leak originated in the victim’s neighbour’s house in Johripur in Karawal Nagar on Wednesday. Relatives of the family reportedly told police that the neighbour, Santosh, who works for a gas agency, used to stock gas cylinders at his home. “Santosh was using these cylinders to illegally refill smaller cooking gas cylinders which were then sold to some locals and food stall owners,” said Singla.

On Wednesday morning, Santosh had allegedly left a leaking gas cylinder in his room which was adjacent to Heena’s kitchen.

“Heena went to kitchen to prepare breakfast for her family. As she lit her stove, there was an explosion. The resulting blaze engulfed the entire kitchen and spread to the other room, where her husband and children were present,” said the officer.

The family members were trapped inside the home. Santosh, who witnessed the explosion, was among the neighbours to rushed to help the family. The injured were pulled out of the inferno and were taken to a hospital. Fire control room was informed and fire fighters reached the spot and doused the flames.

Nine-month-old Rohan succumbed to his injuries on Saturday night. On Sunday, the family’s relatives and neighbours staged a protest outside the gas agency’s office on Sunday, along with the dead body of the infant. The protesters demanded that the agency take action against those responsible, before police intervened to placate the crowd.

DCP Singla said Santosh was arrested after a case of causing death by negligence was registered at the Karawal Nagar police station following the two deaths. “We are interrogating Santosh to ascertain if more people were helping him in the illegal gas cylinder refilling racket,” he said.

A relative, contacted by Hindustan Times over phone, refused to talk to the media about the incident.

First Published: Oct 17, 2017 00:07 IST