Kolkata: Nine people are confirmed dead in a fire that broke out in an illegal leather factory in Kolkata’s South 24 Paragana district at around 0230 hrs IST.
The factory is located in the Topsia area of Kolkata. 18 people were injured and admitted to the National Medical College and Hospital. Those who were killed or injured used to sleep inside the factory.
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said the doors of the factory were closed and the workers could not come out.
Speaking to CNN-IBN local MLA Javed Khan said that the cause of the fire is still not clear. He added that the death toll had gone up to 12 but there was no confirmation of the report.
Five fire tenders were rushed to the spot and brought the blaze under control.
Director General of Fire Brigade Gopal Bhattacharjee said it was an illegal factory housed in the third floor of a four-storey building and the premises were locked.
Fire brigade personnel had to enter the premise, located in a narrow lane in the thickly populated area, by breaking the lock, Bhattacharjee said.
The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained but large quantities of inflammable articles like adhesive were staked in the building, he said.
Tension prevailed in the area where Rapid Action Force was deployed, police said.
According to the neighbours the fire could have been controlled earlier and more lives saved had the fire brigade reached the spot in time.
They alleged that even after an hour of informing the fire department no fire tender was sent.
They said the fire tenders finally reached the spot after the police reached the factory and called them.