14 eunuchs burnt alive in Delhi, over 40 injured

New Delhi: At least 14 eunuchs were killed and over 40 others injured this evening when a major fire swept through an east Delhi community hall where a congregation of the community was taking place.

The fire erupted at around 7 PM on Sunday evening when the three-day all India sammelan of the trans gender community was about to conclude, police and fire brigade officals said. They said prima facie the reason for the fire appear to be a short circuit in the kichen area and that the fire spread from there.

The tents erected on the grounds of the community hall were completely gutted and the entire premises were engulfed in flames. Fire brigade officials at the site said 12 bodies were pulled from the gutted tents and two succumbed to their burn injuries at the Guru Teg Bahadur hospital in Shahadra.

They also said the mandatory permission for holding the event was not sought from the fire department. As the fire spread, people ran helter-skelter searching for a safe zone but many got trapped in the fire and lost their lives, police said.

Locals said they heard the huge cries of people and came out and saw that the entire community hall premises engulfed in flames. The locals also tried extricate trapped people till the police and fire service personnel came and began the rescue operations.

The congregation, which has been going on for the past three days, had begun at around 1 PM today and the participants were dancing and enjoying the evening when the fire took place. Today was the last day of the congregation.

Hospital authorities feared that the toll could go up further because many of the injured have suffered grievous burn injuries.

Delhi government tonight ordered a thorough probe into the fire incident. Delhi Health Minister A K Walia said Deputy Commissioner(Revenue) of East Delhi J P Sharma has been asked to investiage the incident and file his report to the state government at the earliest