36 hours on, blaze at Kolkata’s Bagree Market still not doused

KOLKATA: Even after 36 hours of firefight, the blaze at central Kolkata’s Bagree Market was still not doused on Monday afternoon. The fire that started at around 2.30 AM on Ssptember 16 gutted the entire wholesale market and spread to adjacent buildings on crowded Canning Street.
Though most of the fire was doused by fire-fighting engines that sprayed water from six sides, fire pockets continued to blaze even at 2.30 pm on Monday. Though no casualty was reported in the incident but three fire-fighters were injured during the operation and goods worth crores were gutted.
Presence of inflammable goods such as deodorants, nail polish and plastic products in the building made controlling fire a difficult task, fire brigade sources said.
Bagree Market owner Radha Bagree and her entire family are absconding since Sunday morning. Police have launched a manhunt for them. The fire extinguishers in the building were non-functional causing delay in initial response to the blaze, police sources revealed.
A forensic team visited the area but could not collect samples due to the raging fire. “Temperature at several pockets of the market is more than 100 degrees. Sampling is not possible now,” forensic specialist Wasim Reza said.
Municipal affairs and urban development minister Firhad Hakim faced ire of the local residents when he visited the area. However, Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said that the residents were told several times to upgrade the firefighting mechanism but did not pay any heed.

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