Major fire at warehouse near Armenian Ghat
Kolkata: A major fire broke out in a large century-old godown of Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) situated near Armenian Ghat which is close to the Kolkata end of the Howrah Bridge.
The fire broke out at around 7.45 pm on Tuesday and spread to another adjacent godown, packed with barrels containing diesel. As many as 20 fire tenders were pressed into service and fire fighters continued to extinguish the fire till late on Tuesday night.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who is also the state Fire minister, visited the spot. DG Fire Jag Mohan and Commissioner of Kolkata Police Rajeev Kumar were also present to oversee the fire fighting. Preliminary investigation revealed that the godown of the KoPT where the fire broke out was once leased out to a transport company and it was locked when the fire broke out. Chatterjee said: "20 fire tenders have been pressed into service and all measures have been taken to ensure that the fire doesn't spread further."
Stating that KoPT should look into all aspects including whom they are leasing out the godown, Chatterjee said: "The Centre should also keep a tab as to whom such godowns are being leased out." He further said that a forensic team will be visiting the spot after the fire is extinguished completely and necessary legal action would be taken after the preliminary investigation report is out.
According to locals, the fire broke out at around 7.45 pm when the ferry service from Armenian Ghat was on and people who had gathered at the ghat rushed for a safe place.
Locals saw smoke billowing out of the godown and the state Fire and Emergency Service department was informed.
The fire engulfed two adjacent godowns. Both were packed with inflammable material. The situation turned worse as one of the godowns was packed with barrels containment diesel. As a result, there were chances of the fire spreading. Pumps were also fitted to provide water from River Hooghly. Monotosh Santra who witnessed the incident said the fire spread fast as the godowns were packed with inflammable materials.
KoPT authorities claimed that Port Security guards alerted the state Fire and Emergency Services. The godown was in possession of KoPT for the last few months, after eviction of a defaulter tenant.
The Kolkata Traffic Police have managed to maintain flow of traffic on Strand Road despite the incident.