Anar sparks, kerosene spill kill teen in East Delhi

Diwali celebrations turned into a nightmare for a family in East Delhi when a 16-year-old boy succumbed to burns sustained while bursting crackers. His parents, who ran to his rescue, also sustained burns.

Dibakar Kumar Biswas, a student of Class X, was lighting anars on the terrace of his Nand Nagari home around 5 pm on Tuesday. As sparks flew to his shirt from an anar, Dibakar backed away but tripped over a kerosene can and fell. The spilled kerosene flared and the boy sustained severe burn injuries.

The family runs an eatery on the ground floor and a can of kerosene was kept on the terrace.

His brother Biplab told Newsline: "He lit an anar and began screaming because sparks flew to his shirt. He was backing off when he tripped over the kerosene can."

Hearing Dibakar's screams, his parents ran to the terrace. "They covered him with a quilt and my father put out the flames," Biplab said.

Dibakar was taken to a nursing home, then a private hospital in Patparganj before he was finally brought to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. "We thought he would get better treatment in a private hospital. But we were turned away. We lost an hour. We ended up at GTB Hospital which is actually close to our house," Dibakar's aunt said.

According to a doctor in the burns department at GTB Hospital, Dibakar sustained 70-75 per cent burns and was in a critical condition when he was brought to the hospital.

"We received 85 patients in the burns emergency on Tuesday. Dibakar was the only case we admitted. Most cases usually are those with 5 to 20 per cent burns. But in this case, his clothes caught fire and the kerosene fuelled the flames."

Dibakar's parents were also treated at the hospital for burns. "I have lost my eldest son. Diwali was his favourite festival. He has been snatched from us on this day. I have nothing to say," father Ashok Kumar Biswas said.

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