The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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10 killed in twin blazes

Sept. 17: Six members of a family and four others were charred to death in two incidents centred on Vishwakarma puja today.

In Nadia’s Madanpur, about 50 km from Calcutta, a housewife, her two daughters and mother were killed along with another woman and her daughter when the fire lit for the puja gutted a motor garage feeding on petrol stored inside.

Police said Joydani Barui, 50, was killed on the spot with her infant granddaughter, Piya Pal, around 12 noon. Piya’s mother, Santana, and sister, Payel, 5, succumbed to severe burn injuries at Kalyani’s Jawaharlal Nehru hospital.

Garage owner Ratan Sarkar’s five-year-old daughter Bakul and wife Archana, 26, too, died in hospital. At least four others, including Santana’s husband, Ashok, are under treatment. Barring Ratan, the rest are fighting for their lives.

Around 15 persons were present at the puja when the flames, lit with the help of kerosene, leapt up and reached a petrol can kept nearby.

About one-and-a-half hours before the garage inferno, festivities at fire cracker-manufacturer Uday Bairagi’s house at Mathurapur, around 80 km from Calcutta, were engulfed by grief.

A short circuit in the electrical wiring of the room were crackers were stocked led to a blaze, killing his daughter Pratima Adhikari, 23, an employee, Harekrishna Haldar, 18, and a person suspected to be Pratima’s father-in-law.

Bairagi, who suffered 80 per cent burn injuries, died in the evening at Diamond Harbour sub-divisional hospital.

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