A massive fire broke out at the iconic Chatterjee International Center building in Kolkata, capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, early Tuesday. The building, which houses many offices and commercial establishments, was engulfed in smoke but no casualties were reported.
According to local reports, the fire broke out around 9 a.m. local time (11:30 p.m. EDT) just before offices opened. Police officials reportedly said that four people who were trapped had been rescued, while some local reports said that several others on the top floor were trying to grab the attention of fire department officials by throwing objects from the top floor. The 24-storey Chatterjee International Center, which was built in 1976 and is considered to be one of the city's oldest high-rise buildings, is located in the central business district.
"Four persons who were trapped inside have been rescued using a ladder and they have sent to hospital for treatment for smoke-related complaints," West Bengal Fire Services Minister Javed Khan reportedly told local media. The timing of the fire, early in the morning before most people came in to work, reportedly helped restrict casualties.
A city police official reportedly said: “As the fire broke out between the 12th and 15th floors, there were people who were unable to come down. Several fire tender engines have been rushed to the spot.”
Police also reportedly said that there was “no news of any casualty and the cause of the fire or the extent of damage are yet to be ascertained.”
A fire brigade official reportedly said that at least six fire engines arrived at the spot along with two hydraulic ladders.
Here are some of the photos posted by local residents on Twitter.
Fire at 16th floor, Chatterjee International, Kolkata.. pic.twitter.com/296Yfuefdz
— Vineeta Toshniwal (@vineeta1972) September 2, 2014
Fire breaks out in Kolkata’s Chatterjee International building.... pic.twitter.com/RksxdpPyTe
— Joy Das (@jaifromkolkata) September 2, 2014
Fire at chatterjee International ... God Save them... pic.twitter.com/AQTKs8JQyr
— Soumi Bhattacharya (@SoumiBhattacha2) September 2, 2014
Huge fire on the 15th and 16th floor of Chatterjee International in Kolkata. Perhaps the 2nd such instance there! pic.twitter.com/YKV8rklx0S
— The Baburao Apte (@TheRainPoet) September 2, 2014