Documents destroyed in West Bengal secretariat fire (Lead)

August 7th, 2008 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 7 (IANS) There was a blaze in the first floor of the West Bengal government secretariat - Writer’s Building - Thursday morning. And Minister of Fire Services has blamed the works department for the inferno in which a large number of documents were destroyed. “The fire broke out at the municipal affairs, refugee rehabilitation and fire brigade departments in the E-block of Writer’s Building’s first floor at around 6.30 a.m.” a fire department official said.

Officials said the cause of the blaze was yet to be ascertained. But they suspected a short circuit.

At least 12 fire tenders were used to bring the blaze under control.

Officials said important documents were destroyed in the fire

Public Works Department (PWD) is responsible for the fire, said Pratim Chatterjee, the minister.

“I have been repeatedly asking the PWD to take necessary precautions. But they never took things seriously. Thursday’s fire is an outcome of their negligence,” Chatterjee told reporters.

“We will soon form a high level committee with senior officials from the forensic department as well to arrange for preventives so that these accidents are not repeated in future,” the minister said.

“I took an initiative to put a ban on using stoves in the corridors of Writers. But even today some people use them behind our back. There are electrical wires and old furniture dumped together at places - it can catch fire anytime.”

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