Families of deceased numb with grief

Kolkata, Mar 09 (PTI): The families of the nine people killed in the devastating fire at the Railway’s New Koilaghat complex here are numb with shock and grief.
The bodies of the nine people were found in two elevators on Monday night on the 12th floor of the landmark building, which stands on Strand Road near the banks of the Ganga in the city’s central business district. Among the dead was an assistant sub-inspector of the Hare Street police station, Amit Bhawal who had rushed to the spot in the line of duty.
His wife told reporters on Tuesday that she had been anxious as she had failed to contact him on his mobile phone since 7.30 pm on Monday. “I wanted to contact him after hearing the news of the fire in New Koilaghat building as the area falls under the jurisdiction of Hare Street police station. But he was not reachable. I felt anxious but I couldn’t imagine he will not return,” she said.
Trying hard to fight her tears, the woman said that initially she was informed that Bhawal had been taken to SSKM hospital in a serious condition. The news of his death was given to her later.
Neighbours of the couple at Baguihati area of the city said the woman is losing consciousness frequently and is under medical observation.
Bhawal’s colleagues at the police station recall him as a brave cop always ready to lead from the front in any disaster or other situations.
The son of Railway officer Parthasarathi Mondal had even approached Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when she visited the spot on Monday night to help get news of his missing father.
Mondal usually left office before 6 pm. On getting the news of the blaze, which broke out around 6.10 pm, his family members too tried to contact him over his mobile phone, his son said.
“But he was unreachable. I rushed to the place, but none could say anything about his whereabouts. When the CM came to the spot at night I requested her to find out what had happened to my father. I later identified his badly burnt body at the hospital,” Mondal’s son said.
Breaking down frequently, he said Mondal was very popular among his colleagues and had perhaps wanted to be on their side after coming to know about the fire.
Mondal’s neighbours and friends near his home at Baranagar in the city remember him as a polite person who had no ememies..
Ramesh, the brother of dead RPF jawan Sanjay Sahani, said there was no news about his sibling till Tuesday morning.
“Today, I was asked to come to SSKM Hospital to identify his body. He used to stay with a friend at a place in Kolkata,” the weeping man said.

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