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Kolkata fire: Search for bodies continue, demolition begins

Last Updated: Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 13:03

Kolkata: Firemen searched for missing
persons in the debris, three days after the landmark Stephen
Court on famed Park Street was ravaged by a devastating fire,
even as municipal workers began demolishing damaged portions
of the top floors of the building.

Forensic experts are scheduled to conduct DNA tests Thursday on four of the 24 retrieved bodies whose identity remained
disputed in claims and counter-claims.

The firemen, who gained access to the ravaged interiors
of the fifth and sixth floors of the building yesterday, were
today busy removing the debris in search of missing persons.

Police said the stench from one corner of the fifth floor
had prompted the firemen to look for possible bodies hidden
underneath the rubble.

As a special team of the KMC, assisted by personnel of
the civil defence, began demolishing the damaged parts of the
top fifth and sixth floors of the building, a section of the
residents demonstrated demanding that they be allowed access
to the building before the demolition began to collect their

The police and KMC officials had a tough time pacifying
the demonstrators some of whom, including women, were seen
lunging at the officials present to oversee the exercise

A senior KMC official announced through a megaphone that
only damaged parts of the fifth and sixth floor of the
building, and not the entire two floors, would be pulled down.

He said the demolition became necessary as the
fire-ravaged parts were in a precarious condition which might
further endanger lives.

The 20 bodies, identified so far, have been handed over
to relatives after post-mortem.

The police is looking for the building promoter Sanjay
Bagadia after caretaker Tarun Bagadia and Ram Shankar Singh
were arrested yesterday, Joint CP Jawed Shamim said.

Shamim said that police was looking for some more
people in connection with the fire tragedy, however, he
refused to divulge further details.


First Published: Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 13:03
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