New Delhi: Around 400 shanties in northwest Delhi's Mangolpuri area were gutted in a major fire that broke out late at night on Sunday. No casualties were reported in the incident but most of the slum dwellers have lost almost all their belongings.
The fire broke out at around 1 am but the fire engines reached two hours later, say the residents.
"Around 28 fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames. No casualties have been reported so far. Reason of the fire could not be known," a fire department official told news agency IANS.
The officials are investigating the cause of the fire but say that it got worse after a few LPG cylinders exploded. The fire also destroyed an overhead high-tension electricity line, leading to power disruption in the locality, said a police officer at the spot.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed grief over the incident and assured the people of assistance. "Sad to learn about fire in jhuggis. Have directed officials to provide immediate relief. I will also reach there after cabinet meeting. I urge AAP volunteers to go and help victims," Mr Kejriwal said on twitter.
The Delhi government has been able to only provide the residents with drinking water for now. The nearby grounds in the area are being used to create a temporary residence with basic amenities, but it is likely to take more time.
AAP MLA from Mangolpuri constituency Rakhi Birla said it takes time to fix such issues. She said a meeting will be held with Mr Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia after the immediate relief is provided. For now, the slum dwellers of the Mangolpuri area have nowhere to go.