Kolkata market fire kills at least 18

KOLKATA Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:23pm IST

Fire fighters try to extinguish a fire at a multi-storey market complex in Kolkata February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Fire fighters try to extinguish a fire at a multi-storey market complex in Kolkata February 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Related Topics

KOLKATA (Reuters) - A fire swept through a six-storey building housing an illegal market in Kolkata before dawn on Wednesday, killing at least 18 people.

Most of the victims, including a woman, died of asphyxiation after the fire broke out around 3 a.m. while they were asleep.

The victims were mostly labourers who worked in the building and slept there at night.

"We have recovered 18 bodies so far," Javed Khan, fire services minister in West Bengal, told Reuters.

Officials said rescue operations were hampered since the building had only one exit. The fire occurred in a congested area of Sealdah with little or no fire safety arrangements.

A short circuit may have caused the blaze, they said.

Sealdah is known for its wholesale markets, where retailers source goods including paper and plastic products.

"My shop storing medicines was completely gutted," said a shopkeeper at the scene. "I am ruined".

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed unplanned construction for the fire and said people living in such buildings should be moved to night shelters.

"Kolkata neighbourhoods are unplanned and the situation is really serious in some areas," she said.

(Writing by Tony Tharakan)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

India-WTO Standoff

India-WTO Standoff

India threatens to derail WTO deal, prompts angry U.S. rebuke  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

New govt promises low and stable tax regime for economic revival.  Full Article 

IPO Probe Ends

IPO Probe Ends

Facebook says SEC's IPO probe ends, extending WhatsApp closing date  Full Article 

World Stocks

World Stocks

Goldman Sachs downgrades stocks to neutral for short term  Full Article 

Disappointing Results

Disappointing Results

Amazon's far-reaching ambitions, lack of profits, unnerve investors  Full Article 

Global Growth

Global Growth

IMF cuts outlook, warns of stagnation risk in rich nations  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

Nifty retreats from record highs on profit taking.  Full Article 

Waning Enthusiasm

Waning Enthusiasm

Markets' post-election enthusiasm lost on consumers.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage