Chennai: A BJP functionary died of suffocation and burns he suffered in an accidental fire originating from a widow air-conditioner in his home in Villivakkam on Tuesday morning when he was asleep.
The police identified the deceased as Gandhirajan (46) of Agatheswarar temple street in Villivakkam.
The BJP functionary was running a travel agency cum ice cream parlour in the neighbourhood. He is survived by wife and three children.
According to the police, he was not doing well for the last couple of days and on Monday night he slept in the hall. As he was still not feeling well on Tuesday morning, he went into the bedroom that his children had just vacated to catch some sleep. At around 9 am, neighbours informed the family that smoke was emanating from the room through the AC. His wife and kids started knocking on the door, which was closed from inside.
It took a while for Gandhirajan to react and by the time the family informed the fire control, it Gandhirajan, with burns on his body, opened the door. He collapsed immediately and was later taken to the Kilpauk Medical College, where he died in the afternoon.
A member of the fire squad revealed that all items like bed and cot were burnt in the fire. “It looked more like a fire triggered due to electrical short circuit. As he was sleeping he could not come out immediately and got suffocated because of the smoke,” police said.
A good number of people use air conditioners during summer in Chennai. Unless they maintain it properly accidents can happen, police added.