Amritsar, Dec 27 (IANS) A middle-aged woman and her four minor children were killed when the roof of the house where they were sleeping in caught fire and collapsed in Punjab, police said Thursday.
The charred bodies of the victims were recovered by police and area residents Thursday morning in Thothian village, about 30 km from here.
The victims were identified as Manjit Kaur, her three daughters - Komalpreet, Kajal and Navpreet (aged 16, 14 and 12), and son Jaskaran, 10. The father of the children was away to Kolkata when the incident took place.
Amritsar rural district police chief P.S. Virk told reporters that the family had burnt coal inside their room to keep it warm.
They may have fallen unconscious due to suffocation, before the fire started that led to the roof collapse. The door and windows of the room were found locked, he said.
Fellow villagers said they tried to control the fire after it spread but it was too late, police said.