Kolkata: A major fire broke out in the wee hours on Sunday at Kolkata's Bagri Market in Canning Street. As many as 30 fire engines have been pressed into service to douse the fire in the building that houses over 400 business establishments at the wholesale market.
The multi-storey building houses mainly medicine and perfume shops.
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"As the area is very congested, we are finding it difficult to work. We are using hydraulic ladders and gas cutters to cut through grills of gates and small windows to enter the building," the senior official said.
The fire broke out around 2.30 am on the ground floor of the building on Canning Street and spread to other floors quickly, he said.
"Even after six hours, we are finding it difficult to contain the fire. A forensic team will be visiting the site to ascertain the cause of the fire. As innumerable inflammable articles were stacked inside the building, the blaze spread quickly," he added.
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"We are trying our best but firefighting operation is tough here because of the number of buildings. No injuries have been reported," said Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at the airport, "Nobody is trapped in the building. Also, no report of any casualty or injury has reached us".
Unconfirmed reports said people, who resided in the top floor of the building, managed to escape as soon as the fire broke out.
A few angry shop owners alleged that the fire officials took time to start the operation.
Anil Mehta, one of the shop owners, said, "I have lost everything in the blaze just before Durga Puja. My store, as well as a godown, was gutted in the fire."
Traffic restrictions have been imposed in the area owing to the fire.
The Kolkata traffic police department tweeted, "Due to a fire incident, Rabindra Sarani in between M.G. Road & Podder Court and Canning Street in between Brabourne Road & Rabindra Sarani is closed to traffic."
(With inputs from PTI)