Two killed in Kolkata hotel fire; owner, manager arrested

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Kolkata, March 30 (IANS) A major fire broke out in a high-end hotel here on Thursday killing two Tata Steel employees and injuring at least six others, police said.

The hotel owner and a management staff were later arrested for alleged negligence, city police Joint Police Commissioner (headquarters) Suprotim Sarkar told the media.

“The fire broke out at Central Kolkata’s Golden Park Hotel around 2.55 a.m. on Thursday. Hotel guests Anup Agarwal and Chamar Kishan, both employees of Tata Steel, succumbed to the injuries caused by the blaze,” Sarkar said.

Agarwal, 53, was a resident of Gujarat and Kishan, 52, hailed from Odisha.

“We managed to rescue 31 people from the hotel. Six of them, including a hotel security guard, who suffered from burn injuries or fell ill due to smoke inhalation, were taken to the SSKM Hospital,” said Sarkar.

Two of them, both Tata Steel employees, were later shifted to Woodlands Hospital and the others discharged from SSKM after preliminary treatment.

As many as 10 fire tenders were pressed into service and controlled the blaze after two hours, fire brigade officials said.

Police later picked up the hotel owner B.S. Gujral and manager Gautam Majumdar. They were arrested after sustained interrogation, said Sarkar.

City mayor Sovan Chatterjee alleged lack of proper fire prevention protocols at the hotel and said the fire fighting equipment in the building also did not work properly.

“Proper fire fighting protocol in the hotel was lacking. The air conditioning ducts were not properly sealed. As a result the fire quickly travelled to the top floor of the five-storied hotel building,” Chatterjee alleged.

“The entire hotel was covered by smoke. The fire fighting equipment at the hotel also did not work properly during the emergency,” he added.

Forensic department personnel went to the hospital in the afternoon and collected samples.

–IANS

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