Stephen Court death count soars to 24

Kolkata: The death toll soared to 24 Wednesday in a fire which broke out in the Stephen Court building in the heart of Kolkata’s bustling Park Street Tuesday.

While four bodies were found Tuesday night, 14 other charred bodies were discovered early Wednesday from the sixth floor of the highrise, an officer in the state police control room said.

Twelve bodies have been identified so far. Twenty people, who were in the residential-cum-commercial building at the time of the fire, were still missing.

With the fire under control in all four blocks of the heritage building, police and fire brigade personnel were conducting intense searches in rooms on the upper floors, stair cases and terraces.

“Four completely charred bodies were recovered from the sixth floor of the building a little before midnight. Fourteen other bodies were found early Wednesday,” police said.

The death of six people, most of whom had jumped from the upper floors in a desperate bid to save themselves from the fire, had been reported Tuesday evening.

Twenty people were injured in the blaze that swept through the upper floors of the eight-storied building which houses mainly call centres, other offices and residences.

A forensic team is scheduled to visit the building Wednesday to collect samples in order to ascertain the cause of the fire. The Stephen Court houses the popular Peter Cat restaurant and is close to the iconic Flurys tea room.

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Rain-related casualty in Tamil Nadu goes up to 71

Rain

Girls use a thermocol raft to reach their home at a flooded street in Chennai on Monday

The rain-related casualty in the State went up to 71 with the Nilgiris accounting for the death of 42 persons in the landslides.

Tirunelveli and Villupuram districts recorded the death of six persons each. The overall figure took into account those who died since October 1, a senior official of the Revenue department said.

An official release stated that the Nilgiris District Collector was directed to pay Rs. One lakh each to the families of the deceased. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi asked Ministers Veerapandi S. Arumugam and Pongalur N. Palanisamy to rush to the Nilgiris. Commissioner of Revenue Administration and Principal Secretary N. Sundaradevan and Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) K. Radhakrishnan also left for the rain-hit district.

The services of the National Disaster Response Force had also been pressed in. The Chief Minister advised the officials to dispatch adequate strength of personnel from other departments such as Fire and Rescue Services, Health and Police, the official release said.