Authorities responded to over 300 calls about fire incidents, triggered by firecrackers and LPG cylinder blast among others, on Diwali night in Delhi, including an incident in which two children were killed and two others were injured, officials said on Thursday.
According to the Delhi Fire Services (DFS), a record number of 271 fire-related calls were received by its offices till midnight on Diwali and 74 more calls till 8 AM on Thursday.
A DFS official said that though the number of fire-related calls was more as compared to previous years, there has been a decline in cases of fire triggered by burning of firecrackers. The officials, however, did not provide any exact break-up.
The use of firecrackers in Delhi on Diwali has come down over the years over concerns about pollution and due to restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court on their sale and use. There, however, were violations of the Supreme Court order and people in several cities burst firecrackers until at least midnight, two hours after the 10 PM deadline. The Delhi Fire Services had received 204 fire-related calls last year.
In the fatal incident in a slum near Filmistan Cinema in the Sadar Bazar area, two children — Ganesh (10) and Swati (8) — were killed. Their mother Suman (28) and brother Dhruv (5) suffered 55 per cent and 70 per cent burn respectively and were admitted to a hospital, said the DFS officer.
The fire reportedly started from a LPG cylinder and spread to their shanty around 2.18 AM, he said.
There was also a call about fire at a factory in the Bawana area. No casualties were reported in the factory fire and 18 fire tenders were pressed into service to douse the blaze.
“The fire broke out at the factory in outer Delhi’s Bawana locality. The call about the fire was received at 6:37 pm and immediately 18 fire tenders were rushed to the spot,” the officer said.
Out of the total calls, 89 were fire at garbage and dump yards. Fires were also reported from factories and at houses due to domestic items and electrical wires, DFS officials said. Maximum calls were received from west and northwest districts of Delhi.
“Even last year, there was a ban on sale of firecrackers but we got close to 200 calls. This year, there were restrictions on bursting of firecrackers and only green firecrackers were sold in the market but there have been frequent calls related to fire-incidents,” the DFS officers said.
Besides the 59 permanent fire stations in the national capital, the department had set up temporary stations in different locations across the city to attend to calls of fire