Fire in BSNL exchange in Chennai

(Representative Image)(DH File Photo)

A fire which broke out in a five-storey building housing a BSNL telephone exchange here on Thursday gutted equipment and documents, affecting over 30,000 telephone, broadband and mobile services offered by it.

The state-run communication major said there were no casualties in the fire that broke out in the Harbour Exchange in the early hours due to a suspected leak in the AC duct in the first floor.

Ten fire engines and nearly 100 firefighters put out the fire after a nearly four-hour-long operation, a Fire official said.

In a statement, BSNL said the 35,000 capacity exchange had 29,000 working lines and 3,000 broadband connections.

The cables in the exchange room were gutted completely, it said.

"Because of the fire, telephone, broadband and mobile services are affected in Harbour area," it said adding restoration work had been taken up on a war-footing and it would take a week for the services to be resumed.

The extent of damage to the equipment could not be figured out immediately, it said.

The statement said one of the two blocks in the building that caught fire had a mobile base station controller, transmission systems, batteries, power plants and a message signal unit.

As a precautionary measure, it said, the power supply to both the blocks had been cut off.

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