Kolkata/New Delhi, Mar 9 (IANS): A day after nine people, including three railway official, one RPF personnel died in a fire incident in Kolkata railway office, the Ministry on Tuesday said that it has ordered a high-level probe.
Railway Ministry spokesperson D.J. Narain said, "A four member probe team headed by Jaideep Gupta, Principal Chief Safety Officer with three other heads of Departments has been nominated for the inquiry into the fire incident."
Narain said that the probe team have been asked to carry out and complete the probe as early as possible -- within three weeks. West Bengal goes to polls on March 27 in eight phases till April 29. Election results are expected by May 2.
He said, other members on the probe team are A.N. Mishra, Principal Chief Security Commissioner, V. B. Vishwakarma, Principal Chief Electrical Engineer and Ajay Kumar, Principal Chief Signals and Telecommunications Engineer.
At least nine people were killed in the major fire that broke out on the 13th floor of a multi-storeyed building in Kolkata's Strand Road area on Monday at 6 p.m.
Railway Protection Force (RPF) and other Railway staff immediately rushed to the spot and along with the fire brigade were able to bring the blaze under control by 11.00 p.m.
During the course of rescue operation, one Railway staff Utpal Acharya, working as SSE/Con/S&T/NKG suffered injuries and admitted to B R Singh Hospital in Sealdah.
"But, unfortunately the Railway lost one officer and one staff alongwith some fire brigade and police personnel. Paratha Sarathi Mandal, posted as Deputy Chief Commercial manager/Database and S. Sahani, Constable of RPF lost their lives," Eastern Railway spokesperson Kamal Deo Das said.
Eastern Railway condoled the death of Railway officials and other officers & staff of State Government who sacrificed their lives.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also reached the spot late night.
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal condoled the death of the railway personnel and in a series of tweets said, "I salute the bravery of three Railway personnel, including RPF Constable Sanjay Sahni, Dy Chief Commercial Manager Partha Sarathi Mondal and Senior Technician Sudip Das, along with five firefighters and a police ASI, who laid down their lives to stop fire at Eastern Railways Strand road office, Kolkata."
"Their valour and selflessness has set a shining example for fellow citizens. Deepest condolences to the families of the courageous souls. My thoughts are with them in this hour of grief. Om Shanti."
Railway officials including the General Manager were at the site, this information was shared by Goyal in a late night tweet.
He also said: "All possible assistance has been provided by the Railways to the State Govt during this unfortunate fire accident. A high level inquiry consisting of four Principal heads of Railway departments has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the fire."
Earlier on Tuesday, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) condoled the death on Twitter and said: "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the tragic fire in Kolkata. Rs 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured."