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At length, at six in the morning, Siraj-ud-Daulah awoke, and ordered the door to be opened. Holwell [from whose narrative, published in the Annual Register for 1758, this account is partly derived], remained alive, and they were either stupefied or raving.
Fresh air soon revived them, and the commander was then taken before the nawab, who expressed no regret for what had occurred, and gave no other sign of sympathy than ordering the Englishman a chair and a glass of water. Holwell and some others acquit him of any intention of causing the catastrophe, and ascribe it to the malice of certain inferior officers, but many think this opinion unfounded.
There were only two windows, and a projecting veranda outside, and thick iron bars within impeded the ventilation, while fires, raging in different parts of the fort, suggested an atmosphere of further oppressiveness.
In 1756 India, there existed the possibility of imperial confrontation with military forces of the Kingdom of France, so the British reinforced the fort.One of the soldiers stationed in the veranda was offered 1,000 rupees to have them removed to a larger room.He went away, but returned saying it was impossible.Afterwards, when the prison of Fort-William was opened, the corpses of the dead men were thrown into a ditch.Moreover, as prisoners, Holwell and three other men were transferred to Murshidabad; the remaining survivors of the Black Hole of Calcutta were freed after the victory of a relief expedition commanded by Sir Robert Clive. — Sergeant-Major Abraham, Quartermaster Cartwright, Sergeant Bleau (these were sergeants of militia).
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The surviving defenders who were captured and made prisoners-of-war numbered between 64 and 69, along with an unknown number of Anglo-Indian soldiers and civilians who earlier had been sheltered in Fort William.