3 children killed as jhuggi catches fire


Three siblings were burnt to death after their jhuggi caught fire due to candle flames on Sunday early morning.

The incident occurred in Gagandeep Colony of Bhattiyan village where two of the three children died on the spot while the third was rushed to PGIMER, Chandigarh, where she breathed her last.

Kamal with his wife Seema and four children — Payal, Sonia, Sonu and Kamna — was sleeping in his jhuggi in the slum area when the fire broke out. While Kamna, 1, and her brother Sonu, 5, were burnt alive, their sister Payal, 2, was taken to PGIMER but could not be saved.

The eldest sister Sonia, 7, and her mother Seema were rescued by Kamal and were admitted to Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. Both suffered burn injuries. The parents were discharged from the hospital after minor treatment while Payal was still admitted.

The incident occurred around 2 am when Kamal, a scavenger, was sleeping in his jhuggi located at the periphery of the village. They had a candle lit as there was no power connection.

Around 2 am, the candle fell on the ground and rolled towards the walls of the jhuggi, leading to the inferno as the flames engulfed the whole jhuggi in a matter of seconds.

Kamal, who woke up when the burning roof fell down on him, said, "The flames engulfed the whole jhuggi and household things. As I realised my whole family has been trapped in the fire, I started removing boxes and rescued my wife, daughter Sonia and Payal."

Not able to hold back his tears, he said, "Kamna and Sonu were out of my reach and were burnt alive in inferno."

Villagers thronged to the spot and tried to save children, throwing buckets of water, but were unsuccessful.

The mother of children was not in a condition to talk.

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