Sleeping in ambulance, 2 men charred in fire, another in ICU
NEW DELHI: A fire, which police speculate was fanned by Monday night’s dust storm, took the lives of two men sleeping in an ambulance in Sheikh Sarai. A third man, badly injured by the fire, is on ventilator support at Safdarjung Hospital. A mosquito coil burning in the vehicle in which the men were sleeping may have set the foaming seating aflame. The strong winds stoked the fire and spread it to two other ambulances parked on either side. The fire broke out close to midnight on Monday night. According to family members, the men had never earlier slept in the ambulance, which was parked in a DDA park in Sheikh Sarai in south Delhi. Rahul Saxena (24) and Guddu (24) were burnt to death while asleep in the back seat. Subodh (40) is battling for life in hospital with 98% burns. The cops conjectured that the men lost consciousness when the burning foam emitted noxious gases and so could not escape the blaze. “At least four fire tenders were rushed to the spot and it took half an hour to douse the flames,” said a Delhi Fire Service officer. He added that they had retrieved two charred bodies from the ambulance, while the third man, badly burnt, was taken to hospital by the police control room van. Police said that a case against unknown persons was registered at Malviya Nagar police station for negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter (Section 285 of the Indian Penal Code), causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others (338) and causing death due to negligence(304 A).
Romil Baaniya, DCP (South), said that a Central Forensic Science Laboratory team has been requested to inspect the fire site to determine the cause of the blaze. The cops are also trying to ascertain if the door of the ambulance was locked from outside. SC Rana, who owns a fleet of around 25 ambulances, said that he left for home half an hour before the fire broke out. The ambulance service provides free assistance to Delhi Police in accident cases, but charges people a fee for ferrying patients. Another of Rana’s employees disclosed that he and his friends were the first ones to detect the fire. “We woke up on hearing the sound of the glass breaking,” said Hemant, also an ambulance driver. “We saw the ambulance on fire. Realising there were men sleeping inside, collected water and tried in vain to pull out the three men”. According to the cops, Guddu and Saxena lived in Khanpur in south Delhi, while Subodh lived in Sangam Vihar. Speaking to TOI, Saxena’s mother, Sushila, recalled having a conversation an hour before police told her about the fire. “My son told me about the dust storm and said he would call me back in the morning,” said the mother, who despairs now of supporting her two others sons one a Class XII student and the other a BSc student – without the help of Saxena, who was the only earner in the fatherless family.
This safety device for cabs can work without internet
BENGALURU: A group of students and professors has come up with a tamper-proof safety device, which can be integrated with the central-locking system of cars and can work without the internet. The device was developed by Rakesh S G, associated an and head of Amrita School of Engineering, along with another professor and three engineering students. Explaining the technology, Rakesh said, “This device is a simple add-on to the inbuilt central-locking system in cars. There are just two switches on the roof of the car, which can be accessed by passengers. One is a check button that allows the passenger to ascertain whether the safety device is working and not tampered with when s/he gets into the vehicle. The other is the panic button; on pressing it, the vehicle sets off an alarm to people around so that they can reach the passenger for help”. Jaya Krishna Teja, a mechanical engineering student, said, “We don’t intend to make business out of this device. But we would like to urge the transport department to make it mandatory for car manufacturers to make it an in-built feature. The device has scope to add some more features like inserting a GPRS sim card and sending SMS to the nearest police station”.
5 fire mishaps in 24 hours keep firefighters on toes
HYDERABAD : Fire fighters were on their toes on Monday with five separate fires breaking out across the city. The fire incidents were reported at Block C in the Secretariat; at Malakpet, on the lane adjacent to RTO office; on a lane near GVK One on Road Number 1, Banjara Hills; in Musheerabad; and Chaitanyapuri. Fortunately, no casualties were reported and the flames were quickly doused by firemen. Around 8.30am, the panel board in the AC plant room located inside Secretariat caught fire. Fire department officials said the special fire protection force deployed at the Secretariat doused the flames. At the lane near GVK One, as well as in the mishap at Musheerabad, wires of a transformer got tangled, resulting in a fire. Heaps of garbage caught fire at Malakpet and Chaitanyapuri. In the lane adjacent to RTO office in Malakpet, some unidentified people threw grass used in coolers into the garbage and set it ablaze.
Within minutes the fire spread and locals alerted the fire department. Two tankers were pressed into service to douse the fire and after a four-hour battle, the flames were doused by 5.30pm. Similar incidents have been reported on the same lane before as well, said officials. “This is not the first time; a fire accident has been reported at this lane. I have seen at least 10 such incidents in the same lane,” said Naveen CH, a fireman from Malakpet fire station. The fire at Malakpet was major compared to other fire incidents. Seeing huge flames, locals gathered at the spot and were seen guiding commuters. The of smoke was so thick that it affected visibility. At Kothapet fruit market, some unknown persons threw garbage, which also caught fire.
Mylapore buildings crash into ditches for storm water drain
A TOI report published on Monday quoted residents as saying the corporation had made little progress with work after digging deep ditches to lay a storm water drain under PS Sivaswamy Salai. Little did they know that the front of two buildings on the stretch would collapse within 48 hours.
CHENNAI: If the residents of PS Sivaswamy Salai in Mylapore thought that waking up to trenches in front of their homes one fine day without prior information was bad enough, they were in for a worse shock on Monday night, when the front of two buildings caved in. Blaming the collapse on shoddy planning for an ongoing corporation project to replace an existing storm water drain on the stretch, residents said the civic body hired contractor failed to take any precautions before starting the work to ensure that properties were not damaged. They said the contractor had overrun a buffer space between the compound walls of buildings and existing drains. “On Monday night, the staircase leading to one of the houses caved in because of the work. On Tuesday morning, the front portion of the second house suffered the same fate,” said B Neelakandan, secretary, Vivekanandapuram Residents Welfare Association. “Instead of digging up the entire stretch at once, the officials should have undertaken work on smaller stretches. Residents themselves are shoveling mud and laying scaffoldings and planks to give strength to the structures of their houses,” he added.
The contractor began work on the 400m-long drain a month ago but had barely made any progress. The civic woes have left residents with a sense of déjà vu: The floods of December 2015 caused several sewerage pipes to collapse, leaving craters in the middle of the road and wrecking the stretch. Sivaswamy Salai is a major bus route linking areas around Mandaveli to other parts of the city. “Even while the work is being undertaken, buses and other heavy vehicles are still using the road. We are trying to convince motorists not to drive heavy vehicles on the road,” Neelakandan added. A senior corporation official admitted that the work carried out was not up to scratch. “There should have been a setback space between the house and the existing SWD. Instructions have been given to ensure that residents are no longer caused any inconvenience and the work will be planned better. We will take up the collapse with the contractor responsible for the drain and expedite the work,” he said. The official denied that the depth of the drain was being increased. “The existing depth of 2m will not be changed,” he said.
Netanyahu says Iran deploying arms in Syria to threaten Israel
NICOSIA: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran on Tuesday of deploying “very dangerous weapons” in Syria as part of a campaign to threaten Israel. Iran, “openly calls, daily, for the destruction, the elimination of Israel from the face of the earth and practices unmitigated aggression against us,” Netanyahu told reporters during a visit to Cyprus. “It is now seeking to plant very dangerous weapons in Syria for the specific purpose of our destruction”.
China’s heavy military transport aircraft conducts first airborne training
BEIJING: China’s Y-20 heavy military transport aircraft has undergone its first airborne and air delivery training, the Chinese air force said on Tuesday. It marked a leap in the air force’s strategic delivery and long-distance airborne combat abilities, air force spokesperson Shen Jinke said. The air force is a strategic service, and its strategic capability should be in line with the constantly expanding national interests so it can carry out diverse military missions, he said. The strategic capability of the air force should be able to extend wherever China’s national interests reach to provide reliable air security assurance for the country’s development, he added. The Y-20, which joined the People’s Liberation Army Air Force in July 2016 and has a maximum take-off weight of around 200 tonnes, is ideal for transporting cargo and people over long distances in diverse weather conditions, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.