28 injured in fire at JJ camp

Double whammy: The injured being taken to a local hospital on Monday afternoon after they returned from Safdarjung Hospital on Sunday night.

Double whammy: The injured being taken to a local hospital on Monday afternoon after they returned from Safdarjung Hospital on Sunday night.  


Gas leak from cylinder leads to accident; major loss averted, say dwellers

At least 28 people were injured when a JJ camp in south-east Delhi’s Sriniwaspuri caught fire as a result of gas leak from a cylinder on Sunday evening. Of all the injured, four people including three women are battling for their life in Safdarjung Hospital.

At around 7 p.m., Kishan Kumar Singh alias Hanuman, an auto-rickshaw driver, was trying to fix the LPG cylinder at his house when he suspected a leak. Mr. Singh then called a neighbour Surender, who runs a gas-filling shop in the jhuggis, for help. “When Surender came, he tried to put the regulator but failed. after which they took out the cylinder outside the house into the street,” said Radhey Shyam, a vegetable vendor and resident of the camp.

Owing to gas pressure, the cylinder fell and a spark led to the fire.

“We don’t know the origin of the spark but the fire spread and injured everyone standing on the street,” recalled Mr. Shyam, adding that people ran amok into other streets and inside their houses.

Preventing damage

Meanwhile, Mr. Surender took the cylinder and ran a few metres outside the street to prevent further damage.

“He [Mr. Surender] sustained burn injuries on his hands and face as he took away the cylinder to save people,” said Ratan Singh Rawat, another local. Mr. Surender is currently recuperating at a local hospital. As the street caught fire, locals called the police control room and fire control.

Fire tenders rushed

A fire official said that four fire tenders were rushed to the spot along with five CATS ambulances and a team of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.

However, locals claimed that most of the injured were rushed to Safdarjung Hospital in auto-rickshaws owned by them since many of them are auto-drivers by profession.

While four persons, including Mr. Singh, his wife Leelawati, and neighbours Keshanta and Sadhna, are still in the hospital, 20 of them were discharged after first aid, said District Magistrate B.S. Jaglan, who claimed 24 people sustained injuries.

Private hospitals

Neighbours, however, said five-six people had gone to private hospitals on their own.

Locals also said the camp houses nearly 400 jhuggis, comprising mostly vegetable vendors, e-rickshaw drivers and auto-rickshaw drivers.

“Thankfully, many people were attending a function outside the camp. It was the birth ceremony of Sadhna’s [one of the victims] 15-day-old granddaughter. That helped avert a major tragedy,” said Sadhna’s brother-in-law Diwaker.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:05:52 PM |

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