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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Surya Sen market fire [Sealdah] kills people.... many feared trapped inside

Another day, another fire, human lives lost – it will be brought under control – but no lessons will be learnt as we have been hearing similar diasters.  Old dilapidated buildings, no fire fighting measures, access too difficult for fire fighting, too many humans inhabiting and more……. the situations are more or less similar in many of the reported fire accidents.  This day sadly another one reported in Surya Sen market in Kolkatta killing some humans.

Sealdah is one of the major railway stations serving Kolkata;  the others being Howrah Station, Shalimar Station and Kolkata Railway Station. Sealdah is one of the busiest railway stations in India and an important suburban rail terminal.  It is century old as it was started in 1869.  Understand that till a few decades ago, there was a tram terminus too. 

Surja Sen market is in news for wrong reasons – this place is named after a great freedom fighter Surya Sen, famous for leading the 1930 Chittagong armoury raid.  It is reported that a massive fire broke out in Surja Sen market near Sealdah in Kolkata this morning [27th Feb 2013].  The death toll is high and more than 15 persons are feared to have been killed in the fire. Five bodies are reported to  have been rescued so far. More than 50 people are feared trapped inside.

TV reports suggest that 25 fire engines were  at the spot fighting to bring the fire under control. The deaths were mainly caused by suffocation. The reason of the fire was yet to be confirmed. Sources said the market complex had inflammable items like paper and plastic piled up inside. The fire was detected around 3.50 am and most of the victims and the injured were sleeping at the time.  Over the last few years, the city has seen a series of major fires breaking out at crowded places.

Heavy smoke and narrow lanes leading to the market are hampering the rescue work. The market houses many shops and several plastic and paper godowns. Many of those trapped inside are believed to be workers who stay there overnight. The firefighters are using gas cutters to reach them.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Feb 2013.
Photos courtesy : NDTV

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