A family sits amid the burnt debris of their hut.
A family sits amid the burnt debris of their hut.REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A massive fire that broke out in Delhi's Bawana area slum cluster on Friday afternoon claimed the lives of two children and critically injured four others.

The two minors who were admitted to Maharishi Valmiki Hospital succumbed to the burn injuries.

"They received around 90 per cent burn injuries," Deccan Herald quoted a senior police officer as saying. The official said four others were undergoing treatment.

The deceased have been identified as five-year-old Satraj and Manish aged four.

 The inferno which started around 1:35 pm on the G-block of JJ colony razed around 500 huts to ashes.

"We heard a massive blast and then the area was covered in smoke. Within 15 minutes the fire enveloped most of the settlements," Times of India quoted an eyewitnesses, Ruksaar Begum, as saying.

Twenty fire tenders were pressed to douse the rapidly engulfing flames.

Meanwhile, several fire tenders were reportedly injured as angry locals pelted stones, wooden sticks at them for delay in reaching the spot.

Assistant divisional officer of Delhi Fire Services, Manoj Kumar Sharma, said, "The injured firemen have been identified as Jaswant, Sahdev, Sandeep and Rakesh. They were rushed to a nearby hospital where they are still undergoing treatment."

The locals also lunged at police who came into handle the situation.

The fire was contained after two hours but not before burning down the shanties.

A dejected Sunita Devi told TOI, "What remains, is just the clothes on our bodies."

 An official statement from Chief Minister Sheila Dixit's office read, "The Chief Minister is in constant touch with the district authorities on providing help to the fire tragedy victims. She has deputed the Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), sub-divisional magistrates and other officers along with the local MLA to take care of the affected persons. The revenue department has arranged proper tents for the victims. Further they are being provided food. She has directed the officers to ensure proper care to the victims."

While volunteers of Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Admi Party reached to the victim's aid and provided food and water in the evening.