‘Death better than living this curse’

For the last 15 years, Dinesh Chatterjee, a labourer from Shantipur in Nadia, has been sleeping in a shop located on the mezzanine floor of the Surya Sen market complex. He never thought that a fire could engulf the entire building.

Today he suffered 80 per cent burns and was admitted to the NRS Medical College and Hospital. "It would have been better if I had died. I feel it is a curse to suffer burn injuries," he said. He was lying on bed number 59 of the burn unit.

Chatterjee said he works for a shop owner who sells thermocol plates and glasses. "Around 3.10 am I heard a sound. I was sleeping on the floor with other labourers. Suddenly I could not breathe. The smoke engulfed us. I could not go out as there was a single exit and the door was closed," he said.

He said he does not know if his relatives had come to the hospital. "I don't know. When I was admitted I was in a semi-conscious state. When I recovered the nurses told me that my relatives contacted me, but I don't know," he said.

Another labourer, Shankar Debananth, admitted to bed number 71 of the burn unit, could not speak a word. He suffered 70 per cent burns and fractured his hands as he fell down while being rescued.

Hospital sources said both of them have been now shifted to the surgical sick intensive care unit as their condition is critical.

Three other injured persons in Surya Sen fire mishap have since been discharged from the hospital.

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