A fire broke out at a six-storey plastics market in the Indian city of Kolkata early today, killing at least 19 people.
West Bengal Fire Minister Javed Khan said the blaze was probably caused by a short circuit and that rescue efforts were hampered by toxic gasses released by the fire.
Mr Khan called the scene of the fire "an illegal, unauthorised market" but local residents said that the market had been operating in the building for nearly 40 years.
A police official said at least 19 people had died and that officers were looking for the owner of the building, which was filled with dozens of small shops selling various plastic products.
Another 10 people were critically ill in hospital and the death toll was expected to rise.
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