Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Deadly blaze engulfs illegal market

Eighteen people have been killed in a fire at an illegal six-storey plastics market in India (AP)

A fire at an illegal six-storey plastics market in the Indian city of Kolkata has left 18 people dead.

The blaze, which started before 4am local time, was probably caused by a short circuit, said West Bengal fire minister Javed Khan.

The fire was under control by mid-morning, he said, but toxic gases being released by the blaze were hampering rescue efforts.

A police official said at least 18 people had died and officers were looking for the owner of the building, which was filled with dozens of small shops selling various plastic products.

At least eight people were taken to hospital in a critical condition and the death toll was expected to rise, Mr Khan said.

He called the scene of the fire "an illegal, unauthorised market".

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