Kolkata market blaze under control, FIR filed against owners

Kolkata, Sep 18 : The blaze in Kolkata’s Bagri Market was almost under control except for a few pocket fires on the top floors, firemen said on Tuesday, even as the authorities lodged an FIR against its owners for not putting in place proper firefighting arrangements.

A fire official said that 90 per cent of the fire in the devastated market was under control, with the operation still on three days and two nights after the leaping flames were first seen early on Sunday.

“I can say that almost 90 per cent of the fire is under control. The disaster management team is trying to arrest the last remaining pocket fire on the top floors,” said Tushar Kanti Sen, Deputy Director (East Zone), West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services.

He said the firefighters were using gas-cutters to cut open the shutters of the shops where the blaze needed to be doused. The thick smoke was creating a lot of problems.

“The smoke will continue to cloud the interiors for next two-three days, even after the entire fire is put out,” he added.

Meanwhile, flames were seen afresh in the market’s BCD block.

Small pockets of fire were also visible. The fire brigade personnel were trying to find the sources of the flickering fire.

State Fire Services Minister Sovan Chatterjee said his department had lodged an FIR against the owners of the estate of the market.

“FIR has been launched against the owners of Bagri market for not having proper firefighting arrangements. No safety measures were followed,” said Chatterjee, also the city Mayor.

Talking about precautionary measures that will be taken to prevent such disasters, Chatterjee said: “We will try to remove all the obstructions that created hindrance in firefighting in Bagri market. There are encroachments outside various shops in not just Bagri market but many other places. They will be instructed to remove it.”

He said the Kolkata Municipal Corporation had marked various markets and houses as vulnerable. Many of them have taken precautionary steps and equipped themselves with reservoirs, sprinklers, fire extinguishers but others haven’t done anything.

“We will take steps in a sustainable and continuous process,” Chatterjee said.


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