Five of the nine bodies were found in an elevator on the 12th floor
Nine emergency responders have died in a fire that broke out at a multi-storey office building in 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.
Tragic news from Kolkata tonight— Indrajit Kundu | ইন্দ্রজিৎ - কলকাতা (@iindrojit) March 8, 2021
7 persons have died in a major blaze at an @EasternRailway building on Strand Road
Four fire fighters, a Kolkata police perssonel, and RPF jawan among deceased. Terrible tragedy pic.twitter.com/MYB5ckjcj3
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, reports NDTV.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has expressed grief over the incident and ordered a high-level probe to ascertain the cause of the fire.
Sincere condolences to the families of the 9 brave deceased including the 4 firefighters, 2 Railways personnel & a police ASI who have been fighting the fire at the Eastern Railways Strand road office in Kolkata.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) March 8, 2021
All possible assistance has been provided by the Railways to the State Govt during this unfortunate fire accident. A high level inquiry consisting of four Principal heads of Railway departments has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the fire.— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) March 8, 2021
PM Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the incident and prayed for speedy recovery of the injured.
Saddened by the loss of lives due to the fire tragedy in Kolkata. In this hour of sadness, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest.March 9, 2021
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the spot at around 11pm.
Earlier in the evening, immediately after the fire broke out at 6.30pm, the fire minister, the urban affairs minister and police officers rushed to the spot. At least 25 fire engines were deployed to put out the blaze that began on the 13th floor.
"Seven people are dead. The police commissioner says two more may be missing. The tragedy took place because the elevator was used during the fire. We will give Rs10 lakh to the families of those killed," the chief minister said.
"This is a railways property. Railways has a responsibility. Railways was unable to provide a map of the building. I don't want to do politics over the tragedy but no one from the railways has come to the site," she added.
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.
Fire Minister Sujit Bose said he was "pained" by the incident and an inquiry will be ordered into why the elevator was used.