9 dead in fire at ER headquarters, probe ordered

By: |
March 10, 2021 3:15 AM

The fire broke out on the 13th floor of the New Koilaghat Building, Strand Road, at about 6.00 pm on Monday.

kolkata building fireThe death toll may increase as a few other persons are missing and efforts are on to find them out. (Photo source: ANI)

Eastern Railway has ordered an enquiry in the death of 9 people, including 3 IR officials and four firefighters, in a fire that broke out in the ER headquarters in Kolkata on Monday evening.

The fire broke out on the 13th floor of the New Koilaghat Building, Strand Road, at about 6.00 pm on Monday. The accident occurred as the security personnel and firefighters who took a lift to the 13th floor, could not escape the smoke and fire after stepping out of the elevator. While the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, an IR official told FE that the possibility of a short circuit was being looked into. There is also an opinion that technological upgradation of firefighting equipment was needed in Kolkata to avoid such events effectively.

The fire was brought under control by 11.00 pm and finally extinguished late night, with senior officers of ER taking charge of the situation and providing necessary coordination with the fire brigade and state officials.

The enquiry will be led by a five-member committee comprising four principal heads of IR departments and headed by principal chief safety officer Jaideep Gupta and the report is expected to be submitted within 2 weeks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives in the tragic fire and Rs 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal assured that all possible assistance has been provided by the Railways to the state government. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a compensation of `10 lakh for the kin of each deceased and a job to one member of the family.

Seven bodies were recovered on Monday evening and two more bodies were recorded in the early hours of Tuesday. The railway officials who died were deputy chief commercial manager of ER, Partha Pratim Mondal, a security officer, Sanjay Sahani and a railway employee, Utpal Acharya. Four deceased firefighters were identified as Girish Dey, Gaurav Bej, Aniruddha Jana and Biman Purakait. Another victim was an assistant sub-inspector of Kolkata Police.

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