A major fire that broke out in a firecracker shop killed two persons at the Netaji Market in English Bazaar in Malda this morning.
The dead have been identified as Raju Rishi, alias Manglu, 48, of Dilalpur in English Bazaar, and Ganesh Karmakar, 48, of Bagbari, Bahannabigha, in English Bazaar.
Police sources said an FIR is being lodged over the incident and some persons have been detained for questioning.
One fire fighter fell ill due to suffocation as he fought the flames, sources said.
Eight fire engines were pressed into service and they brought the situation under control after a four–hour long battle, it is learnt. Around 20 other shops nearby were also damaged in the fire, sources said. According to eye witness accounts, the incident took place when some containers of carbide were being the unloaded.
“The fire broke out when one of the containers exploded in the shop run by one Somnath Saha,” a source said. Sources said the fire spread from the godown where the firecrackers were stored. Police said they have detained the owner of the godown for interrogation. English Bazaar Municipality chairman Krishnendu Narayan Choudhary and president of the Malda Merchant Chamber of Commerce Jayanta Kundu rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. Police were also present under the leadership of DSP Prashana Debnath to tackle the situation.
Malda Superintendent of Police Pradeep Yadav said a thorough investigation will be conducted to unearth the reason behind the incident.
“Ganesh Karmakar and Raju Rishi were taken to the Malda Medical College and Hospital where both of them were declared broughtdead,” a source said, adding that the bodies have now been handed over to the family members after post-mortem examination and proper identification.
“Requisition has been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Kolkata, for an expert team to visit the site to ascertain the actual cause of the fire,” the source added.