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2 killed, 550 shanties gutted in Delhi
New Delhi, Apr 18 (IANS)
Published on 18 Apr. 2010 11:40 PM IST
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The national capital Sunday witnessed three incidents of fire that claimed two lives and reduced to ashes 550 slum dwellings, fire service officials said. One person was burnt to death and two others were injured in Patparganj in east Delhi.
“We got a call (about the fire) at 2.47 a.m. Eight fire tenders were rushed to the spot,” a Delhi Fire Service (DFS) official said. Four slum dwellings were gutted in Patparganj and the fire was brought under control in an hour, he said.
Another fire broke out in a slum near Shalimar Bagh in northwest Delhi, within an hour of the earlier incident. “Twenty-seven fire tenders were rushed to the area. No one has been reported injured, but 400 slum dwellings were gutted,” he said. The official said the reasons for the accidents are being probed.
In the third incident, a 40 year-old man was electrocuted when a high tension electric wire fell on a slum in Mandawali in east Delhi. The electric wire caused a fire in which a dozen people suffered burns and nearly 150 dwellings razed.
The deceased was identified as Ashok, a driver by profession. Ashok was declared “brought dead” at the Lal Bahadur Shastri hospital. “Four fire tenders were rushed to the spot,” said the DFS Official. The month of April has seen several fire accidents in the slums of the capital.
At least 28 people, including 21 children and four women, suffered burns in a blaze caused by a leaking gas cylinder at a tea shop in Shalimar Bagh Tuesday.
In another incident the same day, 175 slum dwellings were gutted in Shaheen Bagh of southeast Delhi.
In the wake of the slum fires, Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) standing committee chairman Ram Kishan Singhal directed commissioner K.S. Mehra to ensure that no commercial activities were run in the slums.
Demanding the resettlement of slum inhabitants to safer places, Singhal said he had appealed to the Delhi government dozens of times about this but without result.
DFS director R.C. Sharma told IANS that the fires in slum areas were caused by a combination of extreme heat wave which makes the material of which the dwellings were made more combustible and the overloading and short-circuits in electric wires.

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