A team of forensic experts on Thursday visited the fire-devastated Bagree market to collect samples and expressed hope that the temperature would be substantially brought down in the coming days.
“We have collected samples, especially the containers of various perfumes and deodorants, and various other highly combustible components stacked there. We will test them first then we will be in a position to come to a conclusion about the source of the fire,” an expert of the forensic team said after the visit.
The expert, however, said that as far as the preliminary investigation is concerned, the fire may have originated from an “electrical point from a roadside feeder box”, which had got into contact with the combustible wares.
“The fire took a worse turn because the chemical components of deodorants are such that it floats on water,” the expert said.
Meanwhile, CCTV cameras have been installed at all gates after the building was sealed by the police. Clouds of smoke continued to billow out from the ravaged building, though fire bridge personnel who are still working there are hopeful of being able to bring it under control very soon.
Notwithstanding the official announcement of the fire having been brought under control, small pockets of fires could be spotted underneath the debris even today.
Dipankar Pathak, a senior fire services official, said that the A, B, C blocks on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors continued to be their cause of concern. The firemen were seen spraying water to douse the small pocket fires. Meanwhile, the police on Thursday filed a petition at the Bankshall court for issuing a lookout notice against the three elusive directors of the Bagree Estate Private Ltd, which owns the building.
Earlier, the Fire Brigade had filed an FIR against the trio at the Burrabazar police station. Traders continued to vent their anger over police inaction in allegedly letting Radha Bagree off the hook.
“I tried to contact her over the phone just after the fire broke out but could not reach her. Failing to contact her, I tried to reach Varun Bagree through Whatsapp. Even though he was online, he did not reply,” said Asutosh Singh, president of the Bagree Estate Ltd Traders’ Association.
According to the traders, Radha Bagree along with Varun Bagree and the CEO, Krishna Kumar Kothari, have fled Kolkata. Radha Bagree is rumoured to be in Europe. “A non-bailable arrest warrant has been issued against the trio,” said Praveen Tripathi, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime).