A 44-year-old man was killed and his 12-year-old son critically injured after a large quantity of illegal crackers and raw materials stored at their house caught fire resulting in an explosion on Monday, police said on Wednesday, adding that the incident took place near Mata Rani chowk, a densely populated area in Sector 52.
They said almost all household items were destroyed in the fire that was doused by neighbours.
According to police, the deceased was identified as Ram Niwas Yadav, who worked as a school bus driver and his minor son, a class 7 student of a private school.
Investigators said Yadav’s wife Shushma and their eight-year-old son survived the explosion as they had left the premises just a few minutes before the incident to reach a provisioning store she owned in the same locality.
Police said neighbours pulled out three full cooking gas cylinders from the burning house to avoid further damage to life and property.
Parveen Yadav, the older brother of the deceased person, said the father and son did not run out of the house and, instead, in their panic, they got into a room and closed the door in an attempt to save themselves.
“Dense toxic fumes filled the house as soon as curtains, cushions, furniture and other items caught fire,” he said.
Parveen said with help of neighbours, they doused the flames and searched for the duo, only to find them lying unconscious on the floor of a closed room.
“Almost 15 minutes had passed by the time we could reach them. Firefighters reached the spot much later,” he said.
“We rushed them to a private hospital in Sector 51 where doctors declared my brother dead on arrival. He had no visible injury or burn marks but died of suffocation after inhaling toxic fumes,” Parveen said.
“Doctors said 80% of child’s lungs were damaged on inhaling the toxic fumes. He is on ventilator support,” he said.
The older brother of wife Anu Yadav said she heard multiple small intensity explosions in quick succession followed by a loud explosion and ran out of their house to find his brother-in-law’s house in the adjacent premises on fire.
On a complaint by assistant sub-inspector Satpal, an FIR was registered against the deceased person under sections 188 (disobedience of order duly promulgated by public servant), 286 (negligent conduct with respect to explosive substance), 304A (causing death by negligence), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of Indian Penal Code and section 9B of The Explosive Act at Sector-53 police station on Tuesday, alleging that the deceased had stored illegal crackers and their raw materials required for manufacturing which caught fire resulting in an explosion.
Inspector Rajender Singh, station house officer of Sector-53 police station, said none of the family members was ready to tell what caused the fire. “Later, we found the remnants of burnt crackers inside the house. It was at this time that the deceased‘s wife told us that Yadav had brought a large amount of crackers and had stored them in the house,” he said, adding that forensic experts also visited the spot and found that a good quantity of crackers were stored inside that caused the explosion.