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

Diwali Sales

Diwali Sales

Gold sales jump about 20 pct for Diwali - trade body  Full Article 

World Bank Rival

World Bank Rival

Three major nations absent as China launches W.Bank rival in Asia  Full Article 

Wal-Mart India

Wal-Mart India

Murali Lanka appointed as Wal-Mart India operations chief  Full Article 

Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft sales beat Street hopes, cloud profits up.  Full Article 

Special Report

Special Report

Why Madrid's poor fear Goldman Sachs and Blackstone  Full Article 

U.S. Economy

U.S. Economy

Spectre of no-inflation world looms over Fed's return to normal  Full Article 

Insider Trading

Insider Trading

Rengan Rajaratnam, SEC to settle civil insider trading charge.  Full Article 

Market Watch

Market Watch

Betting on the beaten up? Investors pin hopes on stocks in Europe, Japan.  Full Article 

India Insight

India Insight

Kalki Koechlin on her role as a disabled girl in “Margarita, With a Straw”  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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