In a gruesome incident, three siblings, including two women, were asphyxiated to death in Chengalpattu district of Tamil Nadu in the wee hours on Friday.
The deceased were identified as V. Girija (63), her sister , S. Radha (55) and their brother, Rajkumar (48).
Rajkumar's wife Bhargavi (41) and daughter Aaradhana (7) are admitted to the hospital.
Police said that the family had come to Chengalpattu to perform the first death anniversary rituals of Girija's husband Venkataraman who had passed away last year due to illness.
Girija was staying with her son in Dubai and had returned to the family flat at Guduvanchery on November 2 and her siblings and family had moved in on Thursday. The family was supposed to return to their place of work when a sudden explosion in the refrigerator occurred leading to asphyxiation and death of the three.
Bhargavi and Aaradhana were sleeping in the bedroom while the three siblings were sleeping in the living room. The smoke that engulfed them after the refrigerator exploded asphyxiated Bhargavi and Aaradhana also. When the neighbour heard their cries for help, they broke open the flat's door.
A senior police officer at Guduvanchery police station told IANS: "Doctors declared Rajkumar, Girija, and Radha brought dead on arrival at the hospital. Bhargavi and Aaradhana were unconscious when brought to the hospital and are now recovering."
The bodies of the siblings are kept in the mortuary of Chengalpattu government hospital.
The Guduvanchery police have registered an FIR and initiated investigation.
(With inputs from IANS)