Devastating fire in Burrabazar continues raging

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Kolkata, Jan 12 (UNI) The devastating fire that swept through Burrabazar, the city's business hub, continued to rage late in the evening today, even though fire tenders fought to douse the flames for more than 18 hours.

More than 2,500 shops and at least six multi-storeyed buildings were gutted in the enormous fire that broke out in the small hours, while 12 fire fighters received burn injuries.

Altogether 45 fire engines, including two of the Indian Air Force and one belonging to the Kolkata airport, had been pressed into service, while BSF jawans were in the area to assist in the evacuation of the local people to safer places.

Deputy Commissioner of Police(HQ) Vineet Goel said a portion of a wholesale market and the three-storeyed building that first caught the fire had crumbled and four other adjoining buildings were gutted.

Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, Finance Minister Asim Dasgupta and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee visited the area, while Fire Services Minister Pratim Chatterjee supervised the fire fighting operation.

However, so far there had been no sign of the flames being extinguished as it spread to a large area engulfing several structures, including a 15-storeyed building.

Police already evacuated several buildings in the densely populated areas.

Fire Brigade Deputy Director Gopal Bhattacharyya said 12 fire fighters had sustained injuries.

Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty, who was in the spot, said so far there was no report of casualty.

'' The first thing that our officers X X X X X X Pls Pick up from Line one Para four of CA 14 "FIRE-BENGAL-THIRD LEAD BURRABAZAR".

UNI KDG SJC rd 2053

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