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30 shanties gutted in Nathupur fire, eyewitnesses claim cylinder blast

The police said the fire was probably caused when some children from the shanties attempted to light a bonfire to protect themselves from the cold. Eyewitnesses, however, claimed it was the blast of a 4-kg LPG cylinder that caused a series of explosions, leading to the fire.

gurgaon Updated: Jan 25, 2019 10:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Most of the migrant workers living in the shanties at Nathupur village near Gurugram’s Cyber City were at work when the fire started.
Most of the migrant workers living in the shanties at Nathupur village near Gurugram’s Cyber City were at work when the fire started.(HT Photo )

At least 30 shanties were gutted as a fire broke out in a slum area near a vegetable market in Nathupur village, two kilometres from the Cyber City in Gurugram, on Thursday morning. No casualties were reported, and fire officials said the blaze was controlled before it could spread to the other 200 shanties and a vegetable market in the vicinity.

The police said the fire was probably caused when some children from the shanties attempted to light a bonfire to protect themselves from the cold. Eyewitnesses, however, claimed it was the blast of a 4-kg LPG cylinder that caused a series of explosions, leading to the fire, fuelling rumours that a toddler was caught beneath the charred remains of the shanties. However, the police denied it.

The fire razed the shanties to the ground, causing a loss of cash, valuables and documents for the victims, a majority of whom were at work at the time of the incident.

Narender, additional station house officer (ASHO), DLF Phase-3 police station, said, “No persons were injured, and preliminary investigation has revealed that the fire was probably caused by some children attempting to light fire on hay that later spread due to the strong wind. There was no cylinder blast according to our probe and no persons were injured. The rumours of a child dying are also completely false.”

According to fire officials, the incident took place around 9.30 am, when the majority of the migrant workers was at work. Mahender Singh, assistant fire station officer (AFSO), said the fire control room received a distress call at 9.55 am.

“Six fire tenders, including three from the Sector 29 fire station, two from Udyog Vihar fire station and one from DLF Phase-1, were pressed into service. The fire was controlled within 40 minutes,” said Singh. The police detained the contractor who had rented the shanties for questioning.

Saheb, 25, who cleans cars for a living in DLF Phase-2, said he had just left for work and was 50 metres from his shanty, when he heard a loud noise and the resulting fire.

“One fire tender could not enter the narrow lane due to the sludgy terrain caused by rain a few days ago,” said Saheb. Fire officials said an investigation had been initiated to ascertain the exact cause of fire.

Sanjeev Singla, sub divisional magistrate (SDM), said the administration had arranged for the accommodation of the victims at a night shelter in Ambedkar Nagar. “The officials were directed to distribute food packets among the families, and we have arranged for their temporary accommodation at a night shelter,” said Singla.