Fire in Sodepur garments shop, 8 dead

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Kolkata, May 16 (UNI) At least eight people were killed and 33, including four women, injured when a fire broke out at a readymade garments shop on the Sodepur Station Road in North 24 Parganas district near here today.

''Four people died at the Panihati State General Hospital, while as many succumbed at the Balaram State General Hospital,'' Belghoria Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Ashok Ray told reporters.

Most of the victims died of suffocation because of intense smoke in the burning building, he added.

Barrackpore Additional Superintendent of Police Praveen Tripathi said the injured were admitted to several nearby local hospitals.

He said seven fire tenders managed to bring the flames under control, but the building was badly damaged. The exact cause of the fire have yet to be ascertained.

Traffic on the arterial Barrackpore Trunk Road was suspended for some time that tension prevailed in the area.

Meanwhile, a report from Howrah said a fire broke out at a State Bank of India (SBI) branch near the Howrah Maidan this morning.

Fire Brigade sources said four tenders managed to douse the flames.

The cause of the blaze and the extent of damage was not yet known, the sources added.

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