Major fire in city, blaze controlled

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Kolkata, Dec 22 (PTI) A major fire broke out in a number of shanties at Duttabad, adjacent to busy Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in Salt Lake area of the city on Tuesday.

Fire brigade sources said 15 fire engines largely controlled the blaze in one and half hours and there was no report of any casualty.

Fire Services Minister Sujit Bose said the blaze has been contained but is still raging in pockets inside the shanties.

'The fire will be contained very soon,' he said.

The fire brigade was informed about the blaze at 6.38 pm. It was aggravated by LPG cylinders and other combustibles stored in the shanties of Netajinagar slum located next to an apartment near Bengal Chemical bus stop.

Bose ruled out any delay in response and said fire engines from Maniktala and Central Avenue fire stations and the fire brigade headquarters were pressed into service.

He said the number of shanties which were gutted could not be immediately ascertained. 'We will take a call on this later.' West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, who went to the spot, said civil disaster management force is engaged in the dousing operations along with the fire brigade personnel.

Hakim said the extent of damage due to the blaze can be ascertained only after it is put out completely.

The government will provide all help to the affected families, he added.

Local people joined firefighters in salvaging the household materials in the shanties.

The fire disrupted movement of vehicles on E M Bypass as a crowd gathered nearby while firefighters parked their vehicles and launched operations by cordoning off a portion of the arterial road.

There was traffic snarl on the Bypass as vehicles stood bumper to bumper in the up and down streams from Science City to Ultadanga, a distance of about 10 km. PTI SUS KK KK KK