November 21st, 2011
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15 dead, 40 injured in Delhi fire

fire-in-eunuch[New Delhi: In a fire that broke out at an east Delhi community hall at least 15 eunuchs were killed and over 40 others injured on Sunday evening. After primary investigations the police believe that short circuit in the kitchen area was the cause of the fire.

The fire erupted at around 7 pm when the three-day all India sammelan of the trans gender community was about to conclude, police and fire brigade officals said. It has been very difficult for the police to identified the dead and the injured as most transgenders have no families.

The fire is said to have spread very fast and the tents erected on the grounds of the community hall were completely gutted and the entire premises were engulfed in flames. Fire brigade officials at the site said 12 bodies were pulled from the gutted tents and two succumbed to their burn injuries at the Guru Teg Bahadur hospital in Shahadra. Chief Fire Officer A K Sharma said the traffic congestion on the narrow roads in and around Nand Nagari had made the task of fire-fighters and rescue workers difficult.

They also said the mandatory permission for holding the event was not sought from the fire department. As the fire spread, people ran helter-skelter searching for a safe zone but many got trapped in the fire and lost their lives, police said.While most of the victims suffered burn injuries, some might have died due asphyxiation caused by smoke. The fire was brought under control by 9:30 pm. The fire turned devastating when at least three LPG cylinders stored in the tents exploded, critically injuring a leader of the eunuchs and several others.

Locals said they heard the huge cries of people and came out and saw that the entire community hall premises engulfed in flames. The locals also tried extricate trapped people till the police and fire service personnel came and began the rescue operations. The congregation, which has been going on for the past three days, had begun at around 1 pm today and the participants were dancing and enjoying the evening when the fire took place. November 20th was the last day of the congregation. Police said that conditions of at least 20 were critical.

Sonia, a leader of the eunuchs, said that about 5,000 people from across the country had gathered for the event at Nand Nagari.  Delhi government tonight ordered a thorough probe into the fire incident. Delhi Health Minister A K Walia said Deputy Commissioner(Revenue) of East Delhi J P Sharma has been asked to invesitage the incident and file his report to the state government at the earliest.

Malayalam News


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