Major blaze in Kolkata's Bagbazar, 24 fire tenders at spot
(Sourced from PTI)
At least 24 fire tenders were pressed into service as a major fire broke out at a slum in north Kolkata's Bagbazar area on Wednesday evening. "At least 40 shanties were gutted. Firefighters struggled for hours to bring the blaze under control," officials informed. "There were no reports of any casualty as most of the people were evacuated on time," they added.
The officials further said, "The fire broke out in the Hazari Bustee on Kshirode Vidyavinode Avenue beside the Bagbazar Women's College near the Chitpore Lock Gate Bridge. Several blasts were heard which police suspect to be of gas cylinders at the shanties on fire."
Earlier, a Kolkata police officer said, "The entire slum has turned into ashes. The situation is not under control as we are yet to reach the source of the blaze." "We have shifted all the residents of the locality. Even those from the nearby high-rises have been shifted to a safer place as there were blasts. We cannot take any chance," the officer added.
An officer of the fire department said, "The blaze also spread to the adjacent Sarada Mayer Bari as the firefighters escorted the monks out." Disaster management teams of the Kolkata Police were also deployed to tackle the blaze. Meanwhile, locals alleged that firefighters reached the spot at least an hour late, because of which the blaze went out of control.
An officer of the fire department said, "A couple of police vehicles were vandalized, following which a team of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) was deployed to control the irate mob."
Traffic movement on the Kshirode Vidyavinode Avenue as well as the Chitpore Lock Gate Bridge, the lifeline of the people living in the northern fringes of the city, was totally stopped, leading to massive traffic snarls in the north and central Kolkata during the evening rush hours. "We have also snapped electricity supply in the entire area," the police officer said.