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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed grief at the loss of lives due to the fire tragedy in Kolkata. "Saddened by the loss of lives due to the fire tragedy in Kolkata. In this hour of sadness, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest," PM Narendra Modi said in a tweet.

Nine people were killed in a huge fire that broke out in an office building in central Kolkata's Strand Road on Monday evening. Among the dead are four firemen, a police officer, a Railways officer and a security person

His office added in a tweet, "PM Narendra Modi has approved an ex-gratia of 2 lakh each from Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the tragic fire in Kolkata. 50,000 would be given to those seriously injured." tweeted PMO.

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While expressing his condolences to the families of the deceased, Railway minister Piyush Goyal said that a high-level inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the fire.

"Sincere condolences to the families of the 9 brave deceased including the 4 firefighters, 2 Railways personnel & a police ASI who have been fighting the fire at the Eastern Railways Strand road office in Kolkata," Goyal wrote on Twitter.

"All possible assistance has been provided by the Railways to the State Govt during this unfortunate fire accident. A high-level inquiry consisting of four Principal heads of Railway departments has been ordered to ascertain the fire. Railway officials including the GM are at the site and are working in coordination with the State Govt for rescue and relief efforts. We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety of all concerned," he said in subsequent tweets.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced an ex-gratia of 10 lakh each for the next of kin of those who lost their lives.

"It is very sad. Ex gratia of 10 lakhs each will be given to the kin of the deceased and a government job will be given to one family member," CM Banerjee was heard telling media personnel.

What happened in Kolkata?

A fire broke out on the 13th floor of the sprawling New Koilaghat building on Strand Road at around 6.10 pm on Monday. The multi-storeyed New Koilaghat building here which houses the offices of Eastern and South-Eastern Railways

The fire is now under control and the cooling process is on. As of now, the death toll is 9 but it may increase as a few other persons are missing and efforts are on to find them out.

Fire affects ticket booking services

The computerised ticket booking in eastern India for train travel was disrupted as power was disconnected at the Railways' New Koilaghat building owing to the fire, an official said.

The server room of the passenger reservation system of eastern India is housed at the multi-storey building, the railway official said.

Electricity was disconnected at the building since the fire was reported in the evening, he said.

This led to disruption in the computerised ticket booking in the entire eastern zone, the official said.

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