Two, including 12-yr-old, killed in inferno; 5 injured
Kolkata: Two persons, including a 12-year-old, were killed and five injured when a fire broke out in a seven storeyed residential-cum-commercial building– Moon House—on Ganesh Chandra Avenue on Friday late night.
Though the exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, forensic science experts opined that the incident could be an outcome of "electrical malfunctioning" that led to "volted short circuit".
Fourteen fire tenders were pressed at the service to douse the flames and firefighters took around four hours to bring the situation under control. Fire Minister Sujit Bose went to the spot last night.
According to the people, who witnessed the incident, there was a spark in electrical wearing near the meter box situated near the entrance of the building. It was the origin of the fire and it spread fast as there were several two-wheelers parked at the spot.
Local people heard loud sound when fuel tanks of the two-wheelers exploded. Subsequently, the fire spread fast to other parts of the building leading to panic among more than 100 residents of the 52 flats in the building.
A software engineer, Gulzar Ahmed, who was enjoying an IPL match, came out of his fourth floor flat to find people running up the stairs with the flames moving up engulfing one after other floors of the building.
Narrating the nightmarish incident, 50-year-old resident of the building Firoj Ahmed said: "We the residents including many elderly one finally went to the terrace. But the flames were threatening to reach the terrace as well. Finding no other way out, the residents connected the terrace of their building with that of an adjacent one with a wooden log. Almost 100 people took the risk to walk on the wooden log to reach to the terrace of the adjacent building one after the other."
A 12-year-old boy Unais Rahaman slipped and fell off while walking on the log which resulted to his death.
Officers of the Disaster Management Group had managed to enter the building after the fire fighters doused flames at major part and rescued a few elderly women who had failed to move out of their flats. The DMG had also rescued a dog from one of the flats. A 65-year-old woman Samima Begum was found lying in an unconscious state inside toilet in her flat. She was declared brought dead when taken to SSKM Hospital. The injured persons are now admitted in SSKM Hospital.
Allegations of poor maintenance of electrical wearing of the building that was constructed at least 80 years ago has cropped up. The landlord of the building Shamim Ahmed also stays in the fifth floor of the building with his family. They had managed to move out to terrace of another adjacent building.
A team of experts from the State Forensic Science Laboratory visited the spot and collected samples.