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Kolkata fire tragedy: Centre orders high-level inquiry and other latest updates

On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those killed in the fire.

UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2021 09:13 AM IST

At least nine people lost their lives after a massive fire broke out at a high rise building that houses the offices of the Eastern Railway in Kolkata, West Bengal. The blaze which broke out on Monday evening is under control now and the cooling process is on.

On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ex-gratia of ₹2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those killed in the fire. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee also announced a compensation of ₹10 lakh for the kin of each deceased and a job to one member of the family.

Here is what we know so far about the tragedy:

1) The Centre has also ordered a high-level inquiry to ascertain the cause of the fire. The inquiry will be headed by four Principal heads of Railway departments.

2) Among those killed in tragedy are four firefighters, one Railway Protection Force personnel, an assistant sub-inspector of the Kolkata Police. Two more bodies were found in an elevator late on Monday night and the authorities are trying to identify them. According to the police, one of them could be the Eastern Railway’s deputy chief commercial manager Partha Sarathi Mondal who has been missing since Monday evening.

3) At least 20 fire tenders and two hydraulic ladders were pressed into service to douse the blaze which according to news agency PTI started at around 6 pm on Monday. It broke out on the 13th floor of the 14-storey New Koilaghat building located on Kolkata’s Strand Road.

4) A railway technician Sudipta Das is among those missing, railway officials said. He is a resident of Howrah.

5) Chief minister Mamata Banerjee reached the spot after the tragedy and oversaw the relief and rescue operation. She left the spot after midnight.

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6) Railway minister Piyush Goyal has also offered assistance to the Eastern Railway and the state government. “All possible assistance has been provided by Railways to the state government during this unfortunate fire accident,” said Goyal.

7) In a condolences message on Twitter, PM Modi wrote “Saddened by the loss of lives due to the fire tragedy in Kolkata. In this hour of sadness, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest.”

8) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda also tweeted about the tragedy, saying he is “anguished” by it. “I pray that the injured recover at the earliest. BJP stands with the bereaved families & will help in all way possible,” he further said in his tweet.

 

 

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