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Two boys get locked in cab for 9 hours in Delhi, suffocate to death

Two minor boys, aged four and six years, were killed after they got locked inside a parked car in outer Delhi’s Das Garden area near Ranhola in west Delhi. Autopsy report confirmed that the boy, who were cousins, died of suffocation

delhi Updated: Oct 07, 2017 14:04 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
Karn Pratap Singh
Hindustan Times
minors,outer Delhi,killed
The spot in outer Delhi’s Das Garden area near Ranhola where the minor boys died due to suffocation and heat after being locked inside a cab for over nine hours on Tuesday afternoon.(Sourced)

Two minor boys, aged four and six years, were killed on Friday after allegedly accidentally getting locked inside a parked car in outer Delhi.

The boys died due to suffocation and heat after being locked inside a cab for over nine hours in outer Delhi’s Das Garden area near Ranhola on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

Pankaj Singh, deputy commissioner of police (outer), said that the cab, in which the incident took place, was attached with an online cab aggregator company and belonged to the father of the four-year-old child.

The other child is the nephew of the cab driver. Police have withheld the identity of the children and their family members. The DCP said that the family members of the children were in deep shock after the deaths.

“The autopsy reports of the children have confirmed that they died of suffocation. Prime facie it indicates that the car had heated up after being out in the sun and it led to children suffocating,” said Singh, adding that the family members did not suspect any foul play.

Around 1pm, a police officer said, the cab driver had parked his vehicle at an open plot, some 50 metre away from his rented first floor home, and went inside for lunch. The cab driver switched off the AC after parking the vehicle but forgot to lock the car’s doors. The two boys were playing nearby in the sun. Police suspect that the children went inside the car to enjoy the cool air and slept in the rear seat.

According to the officer, when the cabbie remembered that he had not locked the door, he went to the balcony and switched on the car’s central locking system using the remote keys, unknowingly locking the children.

Freak accident claims two lives
A look at safety procedures that need to be followed to avoid a rerun of Friday’s incident
JUNE 13, 2017
Two sisters, both aged 5, killed after they were reportedly locked inside a car on a hot afternoon at a village near Pataudi on the outskirts of Gurgaon. The car’s door handle got stuck and the girls were trapped inside
JUNE 12, 2017
A six-year-old boy was found dead in a car parked outside his house in Rani Bagh, near Rohini. Police said the boy got into the car accidentally and couldn’t come out and died due to suffocation and heat
MARCH 23, 2017
Deepanshi, 3, and Rakshita, 2, suffered more than 50% burns when a freak fire engulfed the family car in which the two cousins were playing in outer Delhi’s Sultanpuri
What can go wrong?
Cars with electronic locking systems can jam during a fire.
The electronic window system can also fail
Seat belts can get jammed
Carbon monoxide poisoning due to internal sparking or fires
Preventive measures
Always keep a hammer or a tyre spanner within reach to break windows and escape
Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Do not use water. It can cause electrocution
Keep a pair of scissors or a cutter in the car to cut the seat belts if they jam
Park safely and away from flammable materials or heat conductors that can cause fire to spread rapidly such as long grass and litter, especially during summer
Regular vehicle servicing as advised by the manufacturer
Fluids like engine oil, coolant and air and oil filters should be changed on regular intervals
Only fit LPG and CNG kits through authorised dealers
The basic original design of the vehicle should not be tampered with unnecessarily.
The battery can only take up limited additional electrical equipment, while tampering with the exterior diminishes its safety standards

Around 3pm, the family noticed that the boys were missing and started searching for them in the nearby areas. However, the children could not be found till 7pm, after which the police control room was informed. A missing persons complaint was filed at the Ranhola police station. A kidnapping case was registered and police personnel were tasked to look for the missing children.

The search operation continued till late in the night. Around 10pm, the investigating officer asked the family members to go home and return with the photographs of the children. The officer said that the family members then decided to return to the police station in the parked cab.

“As they unlocked the car’s door, they found the boys lying unconscious on the floor between the front and rear seats. They were rushed to a nearby hospital where doctors declared them brought dead,” said the DCP.

Though it hasn’t been determined how the two boys got into the car, primary inquiry suggests that they entered the car but couldn’t come out as it was locked and died due to suffocation and heat. The bodies of the children were handed over to their family members after autopsy. The family have left for their home town in Bihar, said police.

“No separate case has been registered in connection with the deaths of the children,” added the DCP.

First Published: Oct 06, 2017 23:19 IST