Fire destroys around 300 flower shops in Kolkata

April 12th, 2008 - 5:14 am ICT by admin  

Kolkata, April 12 (IANS) Around 300 shops were destroyed in a fire that devastated the wholesale flower market near Howrah Bridge in Kolkata Friday. The incident took place at the Jagannath Ghat wholesale flower market in north Kolkata.

Fire Brigade officials said that a cylinder kept at the trade union office burst at around 8.30 p.m. As there were combustible objects like plastic and hay in the room the fire spread rapidly and engulfed adjoining 256 flower shops.

Sixteen fire engines rushed to the spot and could control the flames after two hours.

The flower traders said they have suffered heavy losses due to this fire.

Ramesh Kundu, a fire trader whose shop has been burnt in fire, told IANS: ” Each one of us has suffered a loss of minimum Rs.80,000. With Bengali New Year on April 14 we had stocked four times more flowers than usual. Now this fire has turned us into beggars.”

Following the incident traffic was stopped at the Howrah Bridge and the entire north Kolkata suffered heavy traffic jams.

Jagannath Ghat flower market is one of the two wholesale flower markets in Kolkata, the other one being at Mallikbazar in south Kolkata. Every day there are transactions of more than Rs.2 million at the Jagannath Ghat market.

Incidentally, there was a fire in the adjoining betel leaf wholesale market 15 days ago in which about 10 shops were burnt.

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