'Chowringhee fire due to short circuit in equipment'
Kolkata: Forensic experts have pointed out a short circuit in electrical equipment inside the fashion designing institute as the probable reason behind the fire that gutted an office in the multi-storeyed building situated on the 4th Floor of 60 A, Chowringhee Road near Exide Crossing on Friday morning. A portion of the roof of the building caved in due to the fire.
"Prima facie, it appears that electrical short circuit has caused the fire. There were many electrical gadgets including computers inside the office of the institute. We have collected some samples and we will examine them for conclusive evidence," said Wasim Raja, senior scientist of state forensic institute.
A senior forensic official present during the inspection said that it was difficult to collect samples as the debris of the collapsed roof is lying here and there in a precarious condition.
Officials of the building department of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation inspected the site and labourers were roped in to clear the debris. "The process of clearing the debris is time-consuming. The labourers who are doing the work have to remain very careful as the building is very old and is prone to further damage. Our aim is to ensure that normal activities in the building resume as quickly as possible," said local councillor Ashim Basu.
The state Fire and Emergency Services department on Saturday sent a notice to the owner of the building seeking a report on what measures he had put in place in terms of fire-fighting preparedness. Dipak Mukherjee, managing director of Mookherjee Estates Private Limited, a realty company, owns the building.
Residents of two apartments in the building have shifted elsewhere and will return only after CESC restores the electric connection and KMC restores the water supply line that has been damaged.
Meanwhile, a fire was reported from a mobile harbour crane at Haldia Dock at around 8.30 on Saturday morning. It soon spread to the 13 number berth. However, 10 fire tenders rushed to the spot and prevented the flames from spreading further.