Kolkata market fire kills at least 18
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)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Short Gaza truce takes hold; many bodies pulled from rubble
- Amazon's far-reaching ambitions, lack of profits, unnerve investors |
- Verizon to slow down speeds for some unlimited data subscribers
- India threatens to derail WTO deal, prompts angry U.S. rebuke
- 'Weird Al' Yankovic still trying to wrap head around No. 1 album
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip poured into the streets on Saturday to recover their dead and stock up on food supplies after a 12-hour humanitarian truce agreed by Israel and Hamas took hold. Full Article
Amazon's far-reaching ambitions, lack of profits, unnerve investors Full Article