Blaze rips through historic Kolkata market

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Old 22-Jul-2011
Blaze rips through historic Kolkata market

Kolkata: A major fire that broke out at the 138-year-old historic New Market in Kolkata was extinguished after an hour as firefighters battled to bring it under contol.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Around 20 fire engines were deployed to tackle the fire, which was believed to have started at the flower section inside the market, a police officer said.

The fire broke out around 9pm on Wednesday night near the flower section of the market, severely damaging a number of flower stalls and dry fruit stalls. "There are no reports of any casualties, but we will do a thorough investigation as to the cause of fire," said City Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who accompanied Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to the area.

There were also reports the fire broke out due to a short circuit at a clothes shop which spread quickly due to the heavy presence of inflammable material such as plastic and chemicals.

"The lack of maintenance on the part of municipality and the shop owners of this heritage market is the reason why New Market has to face fire regularly," said an aggrieved shop owner. Measures that are taken are not only short lived but are inadequate to protect the building where more than 50,000 shoppers come every day, he added.

No stranger to fire

New Market is no stranger to fire and last time also the civic body, promised many changes, but it seems that all have failed. "Numerous shops in the market has been damaged as because we found it difficult to enter the building due to heavy smoke and the vents were not properly working," said a firefighter.

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