700 shanties gutted in Kolkata fire

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 09:24 hrs

Kolkata: At least 700 shanties were gutted in a massive fire that swept through a slum at Maheshtala's Santoshpur on the outskirts of Kolkata on Saturday early morning. No casualty was reported, officials said.

The slum was spread across a large area at Santoshpur under South 24 Parganas district and the fire rendered thousands of people homeless.

At least 15 fire engines fought for nearly four hours to bring the blaze under control. The fire started at around 4 am in the morning.

The cause of the fire was not known immediately, but the shanty dwellers alleged foul play in the blaze so that they could be evicted from the area.

The shanties were by the railway tracks and owing to the fire the train services on the Sealdah Budge Budge section was disrupted.

West Bengal Fire Minister Javed Khan and leader of Opposition (CPI-M) Surya Kanta Mishra also reached the spot.