Kolkata: Over 13 people have reportedly died after a massive fire broke out at a market near the Calcutta University campus in the wee hours of Wednesday. Rescue workers are evacuating people trapped in the blaze that broke out at 3:50 am in Surya Sen market in Sealdah.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. Four people have so far been evacuated by the fire department officials. More people are feared trapped inside the market. Around 20 fire engines were rushed to the spot. The injured have been taken to Calcutta Medical College.
Hours after the major fire, politics has started over the tragedy. Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and state Fire Services Minister Javed Khan has blamed the Left for the incident and said that the building in which the fire broke out came up during their tenure.
Khan, who rushed to the spot and personally supervised fire fighting operations, said there was no fire safety arrangement in the market and blamed the authorities for the lapse. "We will take action against the market authorities for not having any fire safety arrangement", the minister said.
To a question, Khan said the entire building where the market was set up was unauthorised and illegal and had come up during the previous Left Front regime. The minister said that the firemen and police were searching the building in case anybody was trapped inside.
Firemen and police personnel have cordoned off the area to facilitate fire fighting operations. The cause of the fire and the extent of damage were under investigation, police said.
With Additional Inputs from PTI