Nine persons killed in a fire accident in Kolkata. Railway Minister orders high level inquiry.
Kolkata, nine persons including 4 firefighters have died as a major fire broke out in a multi storied building last evening. According to government officials, the fire broke out at around 6pm in the evening on the 13th floor of the New Koilaghat building at Strand road which houses offices of the Eastern Railways and South Eastern Railways and a computerised ticket booking centre on the ground floor.
A senior officer of the railways, one RPF constable and an ASI of Kolkata police were also among the deceased. 2 persons are yet to be identified. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, two state ministers and higher officials of the state administration rushed to the spot last night. Ms Banerjee has announced ex gratia payment of Rs. 10 lakhs to the next of kin of the deceased.
The Chief Minister alleged that the Railways did not cooperate with the fire department and did not provide the building map. 20 fire tenders and a hydraulic ladder were pressed into service to douse the fire. Disaster Management teams reached the spot and retrieved the bodies from the building which were sent to the SSKM hospital for post mortem. The fire was brought under control after more than five hours. Online booking system of the railways was also hampered due to the incident.