Fire guts Kolkata slum, mob violence disrupts traffic | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Fire guts Kolkata slum, mob violence disrupts traffic

The inferno gutted at least 300 shanties at Topsia area behind the Science City campus, the fire took 27 fire engines to control it.

kolkata Updated: Jun 01, 2007 13:24 IST

A big fire devoured a cluster of shanties along a canal in east Kolkata on Friday morning, provoking angry crowds to blockade a main road connecting the city with the airport.

Fire brigade sources said the inferno gutted at least 300 shanties at Topsia area behind the Science City campus. The fire broke out around 9 am and it took 27 fire engines to control the blaze, which spread over a one kilometre stretch. No casualties were reported.

The slum dwellers also set on fire a vehicle of the fire brigade and damaged at least four more engines, alleging that they reached two hours late, an official said.

The angry mob blocked the EM Bypass, the thoroughfare that connects the city hub with the airport.

West Bengal Fire Minister Pratim Chatterjee said mob fury was hampering the work of extinguishing the blaze, which spread rapidly because of combustible materials used for making bombs.

"I don't know the reason of the fire yet but the mob violence is hampering work. We have sought police help. These things (violence) happen in slum areas and Topsia is nothing different," said Chatterjee.

The slum dwellers alleged that the fire was started by a group of outsiders living in the slum.