Burning car claims another life as central locking system fails

Monday 28 May 2012, 23:49 PM by

Ashish Rathi, the son of a retired Border Security Force (BSF) officer was burnt alive in his car. The concerned model was a Swift bearing number plate of HR 26AW 5784. The victim, aged 23 years, was a hardware professional by occupation and resided in Daulatabad Village of Gurgaon. This unfortunate incident occurred at Barusarai locality of Najafgarh in Southwest Delhi at 9.30 am after the decease left home at 8 am.

Rathi was declared Dead On Arrival (DOA) by the doctors after he was rushed to Safdarjung Hospital bearing 95 per cent burn injuries. His father, Sukhir Rathi, suspects foul play while the police believe that, at first sight, it looks like an accident. A.K. Sharma, Fire Chief, Delhi stated that a host of factors could attribute to this fire. He said that the authorities have collected as much evidence as they could and that the forensic results will play a critical role in the investigation.

The main witness of the incident and the person who called the Police Control Room (PCR) was Soni. According to him, he noticed fire emitting from the bonnet of a white coloured Swift when he was walking down the fields. He stated, “I heard shouts from the direction of a car and some locals rushed to help. But a man was trapped inside the burning car and he could not come out as the central locking system refused to give way. Police arrived within a few minutes, followed by a fire tender. But the man was charred beyond recognition by then.”

According to the police, the diesel-powered car's central locking system was activated by the fire and, hence, the doors did not open. One of the police officials reported, “The entire car was burnt and we could hardly identify the deceased. The car-owner was traced by studying the chassis of the car. The car has been seized and it will be taken to the forensic lab in Rohini. The car manufacturer might also be asked to help us in the investigations.”

The family of the casualty is yet to claim the body as Safdarjung Hospital remained closed for the day. According to a family member, "The car was newly bought and there couldn't be any major problem with it.”

In a similar incident, after being caught in a fire in his car near Delhi Cantonment Area, a 52 year old man lost his life. As per the police, the deceased's WagonR caught fire when he was en route to Rohini from IGI airport and he died after being locked inside the car.

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