Nine people were killed in a huge fire that broke out in an office building in central Kolkata’s Strand Road on Monday evening. Among the dead are four firemen, a police officer, a Railways officer and a security person, officials said.
Five of the nine bodies were found in an elevator on the 12th floor. The victims appeared to have suffocated and burnt to death inside the lift. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has expressed grief over the incident and ordered a high-level probe to ascertain the cause of the fire.
Taking to Twitter, he said, “Sincere condolences to the families of the 9 brave deceased including the 4 firefighters, 2 Railways personnel and an Assistant Sub Inspector of Police (ASI) who have been fighting the fire at the Eastern Railways Strand road office in Kolkata.”
“Railway officials including the GM are at the site and are working in coordination with the State Govt for rescue and relief efforts. We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure safety of all concerned,” the minister said in another tweet.
The fire started on the 13th floor of the New Koilaghat Building, an office building shared by the Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway, next to the Hooghly River on Strand road. The building houses railway ticketing offices, and as per reports, online bookings have been hit with the power being switched off.