BJD leader, two others die in fire mishap in Odisha

Berhampur: A ruling BJD leader and two others died of suspected asphyxiation after a fire broke out in his house in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Friday, police said.

The three including BJD leader Alekh Choudhury (69), a former President of Berhampur Central Cooperative Bank Ltd, were asleep in the house at Gosaninuagaon, when an air- conditioner caught fire due to an electric short circuit in the early hours, they said.

The victims, trapped inside the smoke-filled house, were rescued and rushed to the MKCG Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared them brought dead, a senior police officer said.

All of them were suspected to have died of asphyxiation as smoke triggered by the fire had engulfed the house, he said.

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Apart from Choudhury, the two others were identified as his brother-in-law Bhagaban Patra (85) and caretaker Sunil Behera (19).

The exact reason for the fire will be ascertained after a probe, a fire brigade official said.

Choudhury was also a former president of the Ganjam district Congress committee. He had contested the state assembly elections from Berhampur and Aska thrice but lost.

He had joined BJD before the 2014 elections.

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