Over 350 minor fires in Delhi on Diwali, no deaths

New Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) Over 350 incidents of minor fires were reported in the national capital on Diwali night this year, but only 10-11 persons suffered injuries, a fire service official said on Monday.

“So far, more than 350 fire incidents have been reported, all of which are minor. Ten to eleven people have sustained burn injuries, but there is no report of any fatality or any major injury,” an officer of the Delhi Fire Service (DFS) told IANS.

The officer said the fire office received 243 calls from Sunday evening till midnight. From midnight till 7 a.m. on Monday, 106 calls were received, he added.

Last year, 290 fire incidents were reported during Diwali till midnight, and over 500 cases of injuries caused by fire crackers across the national capital.

Safdarjung Hospital received 142 burns patients, of whom only 11 were admitted in the hospital as they had sustained more than 15 per cent burn injuries.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) spokesperson Amit Gupta told IANS that its emergency ward received 295 patients on Sunday evening, but they were unrelated to Diwali fire incidents.

“Usually we receive 195 patients everyday in the night, but on Sunday night we received 295 patients. Most of the cases were related to assault, accidents,” Gupta said.

In view of the Diwali festival, Delhi hospitals had made prior arrangement for treating patients with burn injuries.

Safdarjung Hospital, which has a reputed burn injury ward, had added 24 extra beds and deployed six more medical specialists, while Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in central Delhi set up an emergency OPD to handle burn cases.

Most burns cases on Diwali night were caused by firecracker accidents and were reported from late in the night to 6 a.m. the next morning.

The Delhi Fire Service had cancelled the Diwali leave of all its employees and put on standby 1,500 firefighters across the city.

Chief Fire Officer G.C. Mishra said that 1,500 firefighters along with back-up teams in the control room, workshops and other departments were on duty to tackle emergencies.

“Delhi has a total of 59 fire stations and we set up 22 additional centres, considering last year’s experience,” he said.

Fire engines were stationed at 22 sensitive areas across the city like Azadpur Mandi, Bara Tooti Chowk in Sadar Bazar, Ghitorni, Tilak Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Gandhi Nagar.

Additional emergency teams were stationed at designated areas while for quick response, 10 motorcycles and 11 quick reaction teams were deployed.

The CATS (Centralised Accident and Trauma Services) had kept all its 150-plus ambulances at the ready.