Cuttack: Vehicular traffic was disrupted and thousands of commuters were stranded after a massive fire broke out at a shopping mall on busy Linkroad-Badambadi road in Cuttack city this afternoon.
Though no casualties have been reported so far, it is suspected that many employees of the shopping mall are trapped inside the burning building.
Six fire tenders have been pressed into action and over 100 fire personnel are busy in dousing the fire that is leaping to nearby shops.
Short circuit is suspected to be the cause of the mishap.
Thick and black smoke billowing from the spot has created panic in nearby areas.
The fire broke out at a premier garment showroom located at Palamandap near Badambadi and the intensity of fire was so high that it leaped to nearby shops reducing lakhs of properties to ashes.
City Styles and Geeta Fashions, the two garment shops have been damaged the worst.
The incident occurred at around 11:40 am. A few customers first noticed the fire and later alerted the employees of the showroom, sources said.
Hundreds of vehicles were stranded making traffic congestion from Link Road to Badambadi bus stand due to the massive fire.
Fire Services DG BK Sharma ordered a high level probe into the fire incident. Three teams have been formed to carry out the investigation.
Recently, the Twin city Commissionerate police had raided several shops, showrooms and malls in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar to verify the fire safety measures and this fire incident at the garment showroom raised many questions over the police administration and its efforts to check fire safety lapses.
Chief Fire Officer Sukant Sethi informed that fire fighters are on the job and the situation is under control.