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Massive fire burns down iconic Hollong Bungalow in north Bengal’s Jaldapara National Park

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Smoke and flames billow out after a fire broke out at Hollong Bungalow on Tuesday night in Jaldapara National Park of Alipurduar district in West Bengal.

Smoke and flames billow out after a fire broke out at Hollong Bungalow on Tuesday night in Jaldapara National Park of Alipurduar district in West Bengal.
| Photo Credit: PTI

A massive fire broke out at the iconic Hollong Bungalow inside Jaldapara National Park in north Bengal’s Alipurduar district around 9 p.m. on June 18. West Bengal’s head of the Forest department Niraj Singhal confirmed that no one was injured or killed in the blaze since the national park was closed for tourists at the time.

Multiple rooms of the three-storey wooden bungalow have been completely charred in the blaze. Although the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, State Forest Minister Birbaha Hansda said there are preliminary reports that suggesting that a short circuit might have caused the fire.

According to the district forest officer of Jaldapara National Park Parveen Kaswan, the bungalow staff had first attempted to douse the flames but were unsuccessful. “As the bungalow was completely made of timber, it instantly caught fire,” Mr. Kaswan said. Within an hour, two fire engines from nearby towns were engaged to bring the blaze under control.

Ms. Hansda announced on June 19 that an inquiry committee had been formed and a four-member team from the forest department was on their way to visit the spot to examine the cause of the blaze. She will arrive at Jaldapara in the coming days to take stock of the situation.

The Hollong Bungalow, located seven to eight kilometres inside Jaldapara National Park, was known for its unique proximity to the wilderness of the area. Established in 1967, this State-run lodge was a favourite among tourists at Jaldapara, including former West Bengal CM Jyoti Basu who stayed at the bungalow multiple times during his tenure.


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