Kolkata's Park Street fire toll rises to 43

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Kolkata, Mar 29 (ANI): The death toll from the fire that swept through the floors of the multi-storied Stephen Court building on Park Street here on March 23, has gone up to 43, following the recovery of seven more bodies on Monday from the fifth floor of the building.

A Kolkata Municipal Corporation official said: "We are working very carefully to remove the derbris, so a lot of time is being taken," adding that nearly 75 percent of the work of removing the rubble is finished and the rest will be done tonight.

Meanwhile, forensic experts have begun creating DNA profiles to identify badly burnt bodies in the fire, sources told ANI.

Earlier, Union Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee had slammed the disaster management of the West Bengal Government for failing to control the fire and directed a railway emergency team from Sealdah to assist people trapped inside the building.

"I spoke to the Defence Ministry for sending the army. The ministry has issued instructions to send the army," Banerjee had said, adding that the West Bengal Government should have sought the help of the army.anerjee said she did not want to make a political point, and had deliberately delayed her arrival at the site so that no one would accuse her of hampering rescue efforts.

"I was keeping an eye on matters and we waited for one-and-a half hours before coming here," she said.

West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services Minister Pratim Chatterjee had then blamed the excessive traffic for the delay in rescue efforts, adding that the death toll could rise. By Ajitha Menon (ANI)

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