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Indian Military Joins Effort to Stop Large Market Fire


Officials in India's eastern city Kolkata say army soldiers have now joined efforts to extinguish a fire raging for two days in the country's biggest wholesale market.

The soldiers joined firefighters who have struggled with water shortages and equipment that was unable to reach flames burning on the upper levels of a 12 story building in the market complex.

Some firefighters have been reported injured in the effort. More than 2,500 shops were reported destroyed.

The historic Burrabazar market has clusters of makeshift shops and unplanned and unauthorized constructions, including several multi-story buildings.

Officials are still investigating what started the blaze.

Officials say the fire started shortly after midnight Saturday and quickly turned into an inferno because flammable material was stored in many shops and houses.

Angry residents say firefighters were slow in responding.

Burrabazar is one one of the most densely populated areas of Kolkata, the capital of India's West Bengal state. It also is the city's biggest market for consumer goods.

Fires are common in India where safety regulations are often ignored.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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