HODAL/PALWAL: Five members of a Delhi-based family were burned alive in their car on Tuesday after the Santro collided with a tractor-trailer on the Delhi-Agra national highway causing its LPG kit to explode.
Haryana police said the vehicle went up in flames after its LPG kit exploded almost 20 minutes after the accident. Although locals claimed that the car was being driven on CNG, cops dismissed the theory. The family was returning from Agra.
The incident occurred near Banchari Village, about 30km from Palwal, on Tuesday. They were residents of Rohtas Nagar in northeast Delhi. The Hodal police said they are trying to ascertain if the LPG kit was defective. They will contact the car manufacturer to find out whether the kit was fitted by them.
According to SP (Palwal) Jagat Singh Hooda, the car was moving at a high speed towards Delhi from Vrindavan. The passengers reached Banchari Village around 4pm. “Suddenly, a tractor-trailer moving ahead of the car broke down and stopped. But the driver failed to swerve. As a result, the car rammed into the vehicle and caught fire,” said a senior police officer. Cops said the trailer was loaded with illegally mined sand.
“After the collision, the car’s central locking system got jammed. Other drivers on the highway tried to help but most of the occupants had lost consciousness by then. We sent our men in 10 minutes and took the help of fire department officials to smash the car windows and extricate the occupants. Unfortunately, we could not save anyone,” said Hooda. Though cops tried to use sand to douse the fire, the method failed.
Locals, however, claimed that the lives could have been saved had the authorities been better prepared. “The highway does not have a mobile disaster management squad. The car exploded at least 30 minutes after the accident. The fire brigade arrived 40 minutes later and members of the rescue team had no gas cutter with them,” claimed Salim Ahmed, a resident of the village who called the cops.