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Page last updated at 09:36 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 10:36 UK

Fire death toll rises to 42 in Indian city of Calcutta

Stephen Court building after fire
Stephen Court is one of Calcutta's oldest high-rise buildings

The death toll in a huge fire in the Indian city of Calcutta last week has risen to 42 with the recovery of more bodies, police have said.

Dozens were also hurt when the historic Stephen Court building caught fire. It is feared more people are missing.

Two people, who were caretakers of the building, have been arrested in connection with last Tuesday's fire.

The fire was among the deadliest in Calcutta in recent years. It reportedly broke out in a lift shaft and spread.

More bodies have been recovered over the weekend from the smouldering debris of the building - five of them were pulled out by rescue workers on Monday afternoon.

'Fairly common'

The BBC's Subir Bhaumik in Calcutta says many are still waiting for their relatives who were working in the building and have been missing since the day of the fire.

"I will wait here for my daughter till I find her, dead or alive," said Iqbal Hassan.

Calcutta police chief Mohan Chakrabarti has accused the owner of the 100-year-old Stephen Court building of not observing fire regulations.

But local residents accused the fire services of taking nearly an hour to arrive at the scene.

Fifteen of the bodies are yet to be identified.

Nearly 100 fire-fighters and 25 fire engines spent several hours struggling to control the blaze.

Fires in high-rise buildings are fairly common in the city. There have been at least 10 major incidents since 2008.

Electrical short circuits have been responsible for most of these fires.



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