12 killed, 23 injured in a West Bengal mall fire

May 17th, 2008 - 1:18 am ICT by admin  

Kolkata, May 16 (IANS) Twelve people were killed and 23 others injured in a fire that raged through a three-storey shopping mall in North 24-Parganas district in West Bengal Friday. Additional Superintendent of Police (Barrackpore) Praveen Tripathy told newspersons that welding work in a garment factory located inside the mall is suspected to have caused the fire.

“The mall did not have any fire fighting system and the number of casualties shot up as some people pulled down the shutters after the blaze broke out,” Tripathy said.

Around 50 people were inside the mall when the incident occurred.

The injured have been admitted to the Panihati Government Hospital and a private nursing home.

Fire Services Minister Pratim Chatterjee, who visited the spot, said that five fire tenders put out the blaze within a short time.

“The presence of highly inflammable materials and huge stock of garments resulted in the fire spreading rapidly,” he said. The injured included fire fighters, he added.

Kolkatta and its adjoining areas have been in the news several times in the past six months due to fire-related mishaps.

In January, a 13-storey building housing the city’s biggest wholesale market in the commercial hub of Burrabazar, suffered extensive damage after a fire raged for nearly a week.

Last month, a blaze reduced Asia’s largest wholesale market to rubble.

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