Millennium Post

Gift room turns into death trap

Wedding bells were answered by Ravikant's relatives who travelled around 20 kilometers from Gazipur on Wednesday. As the house had only three rooms, the family decided to store all the gifts including several packets of rice, wedding attires and an LCD screen television inside the women's quarters.

"The family had worked really hard as they come from a humble background. Ravikant had been working overtime to make enough money as he wanted to host a grand wedding for his relatives," said Hari Om, one of the relatives who hailed from Gazipur. However, after several wedding ceremonies including Haldi, the women had retreated to the safe confines of their quarters when the cylinder blast trapped them inside.

The room which was chosen as a safe space for wedding gifts turned into a death trap as the main exit was obstructed by a wall of fire. By the time it was doused, all the deceased were reportedly found huddled together inside the room, eyewitnesses claimed.

"We started screaming that the wedding house was on fire. Everyone started splashing water," said Rajiv, a neighbour. The fire tenders were late to the spot, they alleged. The locals had made two calls to the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) which went unanswered.
Our fire tenders had reached within five minutes after we received the call at 9:56 pm. Within ten minutes three additional fire tenders were deputed to the spot," said Deputy fire chief (DFS) Atul Garg.
According to the locals, the fire tenders had wasted time on reaching the spot and setting up the fire hose which did not work for ten minutes.
"We were begging the fire officials to give us their jackets and boots, as we wanted to do the work that they clearly were not interested in doing," said Ram, another neighbour.
"When a man's house is on fire for him every minute is like an hour. We did our best," said a firefighter from DFS.

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