Delhi toddlers suffer serious burns after family car catches fire
Toddlers Deepanshi and Rakshita suffered more than 50% burns when a freak fire engulfed the family car in which the two cousins were playing without adult supervision in outer Delhi’s Sultanpuri on Thursday morning.
Doctors at Safdarjung hospital, where the sisters are being treated, said they are stable but not out of danger. The children have not regained consciousness till evening.
The three-year-old Deepanshi and Rakshita, who is a year younger, were playing in the car — a second-hand Swift that the family has bought a few months ago — parked outside their family’s gated three-storey home in Krishna Vihar in Sultanpuri.
Their fathers are brothers, and own a cardboard-manufacturing unit in Paharganj.
The parents told police that the girls were often allowed to play in the vehicle, which they loved to do. The adults would roll down the windows to prevent suffocation, and lock the car. The routine was repeated on Thursday too, and the family got busy with their chores after putting the toddlers inside the car.
“Minutes after leaving the girls, I heard people in my family scream about smoke rising from the parking. We ran down and saw the car in flames. We couldn’t see inside because of the dense smoke,” said the girls’ grandfather, Hanuman Prasad.
The family members feared for the worst as they heard no screams from the car. The girls had fainted because of the smoke.
“We got together to push the car out onto the street before dousing the flames,” Prasad said.
The girls were pulled out of the burning car by then. Deepanshi was in the front seat and her sister in the rear. They were unconscious, and gravely scalded.
They were dashed to a local hospital and then taken to Safdarjung hospital because of the extent of the burns.
Additional deputy commissioner of police Pankaj Singh said the cause of the fire could be ascertained after forensic tests, for which samples have been sent.