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Fire in Kolkata's Historic Burrabazar Guts 2,500 Shops, No Casualties

  • VOA Nerws

Authorities in the eastern India city of Kolkata say more than 25-hundred shops and buildings have been destroyed by a huge fire in a congested wholesale market, but there were no casualties.

Officials say more than 40 fire engines battled for 12 hours to bring the blaze under control in the historic Burrabazar, which has clusters of makeshift shops and unplanned and unauthorized constructions, including several multi-story buildings.

Huge clouds of black smoke were seen billowing from the area.

Officials say the fire started shortly after midnight and quickly turned into an inferno because flammable material was stored in many shops and houses - some illegally.

Angry residents say fire fighters were slow in responding.

Fire officials say a shortage of water in the area hampered their operation.

Officials are investigating what caused the blaze.

Burrabazar is one one of the most densely populated areas of Kolkata, the capital of India's West Bengal state. It also is the city's biggest market for all consumer goods.

Fires are common in India where safety regulations are often ignored.

Our stringer Paramashish Ghosh Roy has more on the story.

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