SILCHAR, Feb 26 - One woman died and more than 70 shanties were gutted in a massive fire which broke out in Nilu Paul lane, a slum at Chengkuri-Vivekananda road here on Saturday.
As many as seven fire tenders from the State Fire and Emergency Services, Army, ONGC and the Defence services were pressed into service and it took around an hour to douse the flames.
The deceased has been identified as Mamata Das (65). The injured are undergoing treatment at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital.
According to the victims who are rendered homeless, the fire broke due to explosion of three LPG cylinders. The fire soon spread across the entire slum, sources said.
On the other hand, locals plunged into rescue operation to evacuate people from the narrow passage. �We were sleeping when we heard a loud noise of explosion. Soon, Jawed Aktar Laskar and others were seen trying to save people,� the neighbours echoed.
Reacting on the situation, Deputy Speaker and Silchar MLA Dilip Paul said, �Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has been informed about the disaster and all measures would be taken to provide relief materials to the fire victims.� The MLA went to the SMCH to meet the victims. Also, some NGOs and voluntary organisations reached out to the victims.
Meanwhile, KK Sinha, sub-officer at the State Fire and Emergency Services, admitted that despite equipped with necessary equipment, the department is facing serious manpower crunch. �We need at least 10 persons in different positions in the department to offer better services during such emergency situation,� Sinha said.