News Desk: 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. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Ram Nath Kovind and railway minister Piyush Goyal expressed grief over the incident.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee visited the spot at around 11 pm.
Earlier in the evening, immediately after the fire broke out at 6.30 pm, the fire and emergency services 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 ₹ 10 lakh to the families of those killed,” chief minister Mamata Banerjee 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.