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Fire at shopping mall in Salt Lake, no loss of life

Kolkata: A major fire broke out at the basement of shopping mall at Baisakhi in Salt Lake on Thursday afternoon.

Fifteen fire tenders were pressed into action to bring the flames under control. It is suspected that the fire was caused due to the ongoing wielding work at the basement of the mall.

According to local residents, the fire broke out around 3:15 pm. Shopkeepers and workers were alerted by the sound of fire alarm and they rushed out of the mall.

While in a hurry to get out, several persons fell down and suffered minor injuries. After a few minutes the fire broke out, sound of multiple explosions was heard outside.

After a few minutes four fire tenders reached the spot. However, firefighters could not enter the basement due to dense smoke. To let the smoke out, firefighters had to break some doors. After a quick interaction with mall workers, firefighters came to know that there were approximately 50 cars and as many bikes parked in the basement. At that time local residents and firefighters heard multiple blast sounds from the basement.

Having no other way to reach the source of fire, firefighters wore oxygen masks and special suits and went inside the basement and started operations.

However, after a few minutes, firefighters felt uncomfortable due to thick smoke and came out of the basement. Later, big fans were arranged and placed at the exist points of the basement to let the fire out.

State Fire minister Sujit Bose, who is also the local MLA, went to the spot along with Director General of Fire department Jag Mohan. Mayor of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation Krishna Chakraborty and local councilor Anita Mondal, who is the Chairperson of BMC, also reached the spot.

After having a brief interaction with Jag Mohan, Bose said: "Due to dense smoke, firefighters were facing difficulties. The cause of fire can only be ascertained after the forensic test."

Bose informed that the fire was brought under control after 5 hours and various vehicles parked at the basement were damaged by its impact.

Local residents were panic-stricken as distance between the mall and residential buildings was merely 15 ft. However, due to the prompt action by the fire brigade there were no casualties. Sources claimed that though the firealarm was raised but not a single sprinkler worked.

Later, it was found that the underground reservoir was also dry. However, fire officials will check the premises of the mall to find out if authorities

had been fire safety violating norms and if negligence on their part led to the

fire.

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