Child dies as Mumbai slum fire triggers blast

Mumbai, Dec 7 (IANS) A child was burnt to death and six others, including three women, were injured in a fire which led to several gas cylinders exploding in a northwest Mumbai slum on Monday, officials said.

An official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s disaster control cell said the fire erupted around 12.30 p.m. in sprawling and densely populated Damunagar slum.

Within minutes, several gas cylinders stored in a nearby godown also caught fire and started exploding.

Witnesses said there were at least half a dozen deafening explosions and thick smoke billowing from the flames was visible for several kilometres.

Additional Commissioner of Police (North) Fatehsingh Patil confirmed that one totally charred body was recovered while several other victims – whose identity was yet to be established – were rushed to BMC’s Ambedkar Hospital.

Patil added that around 1,000 hutments were reduced to ashes and the impact of the exploding cylinders led to a power failure in the entire locality which comprises posh skyscrapers of Thakur village.

More than 15 fire tenders, 10 water tankers and five ambulances were engaged in the relief operations and the fire was brought under control after nearly three hours. The cause of the fire was being investigated.

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