AFP
Last updated: 1 April, 2012

Three children burn to death as Gaza energy crisis bites

Three Palestinian children were found dead Sunday in a fire in their room caused by a candle being used due to lack of electricity in Gaza, an emergency services official said.

“A fire broke out in the children’s room,” said Adham Abu Selmiya, emergency services spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

“Apparently the fire was caused by a candle which was being used after the electricity was cut,” he said, adding that the tragedy occurred in the town of Deir Balah, in the centre of the coastal strip.

A fourth child, aged six months, was badly burned and taken to hospital, added Selmiya.

The children, aged two, five and six, were members of the Bashir family, a relative said.

The Gaza Strip’s sole power station shuddered to a halt a week ago, running out of fuel just 48 hours after some 450,000 litres were delivered to the coastal strip from Israel.

The Red Cross on Thursday said it would ship emergency supplies of fuel to help alleviate the worsening energy crisis in Gaza, which is hitting medical services hard.