India

Firemen, Cop Among 7 Dead In Kolkata Blaze, Mamata Banerjee Visits Spot

Firemen, Cop Among 7 Dead In Kolkata Blaze, Mamata Banerjee Visits Spot

Firefighters are trying to put out the blaze.

Kolkata:

Seven people have been killed after a huge fire broke out in an office building in central Kolkata's Strand Road on Monday evening.

Among those dead are four firemen, a police officer and a Railway Protection Force staff, officials said.

Five of the seven bodies were found in an elevator.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, other ministers and police officers reached the spot and firefighters are trying to put out the blaze.

"Seven people are dead. The police commissioner says two more may be missing. The tragedy took place because the elevator was used during the fire. We will give Rs 10 lakh to the families of those killed," Ms Banerjee said.

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The fire started at around 6:30 pm

"This is a railways property. Railways has a responsibility. Railways was unable to provide map of the building. I don't want to do politics over the tragedy but no one from the railways has come to the site," she added.

The fire started on the 13th floor of the New Koila Ghat Building, an office building shared by the Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway, next to the Hooghly River, around 6:30 pm. Twenty-five fire trucks were sent in.

The building houses railway ticketing offices and reports said online bookings have been hit with the power being switched off.

Fire Minister Sujit Bose said he was "pained" by the incident and said an inquiry has been ordered about why the elevator was used by first responders.

"The SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is not to use elevators in case of a fire," he said.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.