A fire broke out in a sponge iron factory at Palitpur in Burdwan on Thursday afternoon.
Six fire tenders were pressed into service. Though no one received serious injuries in the fire, several workers of the factory fell ill after getting suffocated.
According to a firefighter, the fire initially broke out in a transformer of the Unit I of the factory. The workers heard a loud sound of explosion and they got panicked. They started running to move out of the factory. By the time all of them had managed to move out the entire factory was filled with smoke.
The fire later spread to two other units of the factory. The units were damaged in the fire. There were a total of six units of the factory and around 1,200 people work in the factory.
The fire spread fast to the adjacent units and completely damaged them. People were panicked as the fire threatened to spread to the other units of the factory. But firefighters reached the spot and restricted the fire from spreading further.
The police had cordoned off the area and a probe has been initiated in this connection.
Meanwhile work of a bank had stopped for around two hours causing inconvenience to hundreds of people when a fire broke out in an adjacent paper printing factory on Deshapriya Sashmal Road at Tollygunge. People were panicked and the employees of the banks too came out apprehending that the fire may spread.
Four fire tenders were pressed and firefighters doused the flames within two hours. The bank officials, however, resumed the work within two hours.
An officer of the state fire and emergency services department said preliminary investigation revealed that electric short circuit led to the fire. The total extent of damage is yet to be ascertained.