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11 dead in Bengal mall fire
May 16, 2008 17:57 IST
Last Updated: May 16, 2008 20:21 IST
A fire at a shopping mall selling garments left 11 persons dead and 18 injured at Sodepur in neighbouring North 24-Parganas district, close to Kolkata, on Friday.
The deaths were primarily caused by asphyxiation with the exit being blocked as a shutter was pulled down after the fire broke out, police sources said.
The toll might rise as some critically injured were battling for life in different hospitals and nursing homes, additional superintendent of police Praveen Tripathy said.
Firemen, assisted by the police, broke into the glass panelled second floor selling readymade garments, to rescue those trapped, Tripathy said.
The dead were mostly mall employees, Tripathy said, while one was a customer.
The blaze, suspected to have originated from welding work on the floor, spread quickly, with smoke building up inside the three-storey building.
Five tenders brought the fire, which broke out at noon, under control after two hours.