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18 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Probe body formed over Mirpur fire

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Probe body formed over Mirpur fire
Losing everything she had in a devastating fire that raged the Chalantika slum at Mirpur Section-7 in the capital on Friday, a dejected woman sits on the spot where her shanty was located once and sheds tear yesterday. Nazmul Islam photo

Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) yesterday formed a three-member committee to investigate the devastating fire at the Chalantika slum in Mirpur section-7 in the capital on Friday.

Habibur Rahman, director (finance and administration), FSCD, told reporters the three-member probe committee had been asked to submit its report within 15 working days.

Rezaul Karim, assistant director of FSCD, said around 3000 families suffered losses from the damage to 500-600 houses caused by the fire.

Meanwhile, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayor Atiqul Islam said the fire victims would be provided all possible help.

Abul Hossain, deputy director of FSCD, was made the head of the committee, while the two other members were assistant director (operation) Abdul Halim and

 

deputy assistant director (Dhaka Zone-2) Niaz Ahmed.  At a press briefing in the morning, Rezaul Karim said: “We haven’t yet ascertained the cause of the fire. Source of the blaze can only be confirmed after the investigation.”

He added: “It took 20 fire-fighting units more than three hours to douse the flames. No death was reported, while four of our members were injured in the incident.”

The massive fire turned thousands of lower-income slum dwellers homeless and left nothing for them other than charred belongings.

Karim said there were combustible substances in the shanties while the gas connection was in a vulnerable condition. All of these helped the blaze spread fast to adjacent shanties, he added.

Meanwhile, after visiting the spot, DNCC mayor Atiqul said the victims would be given shelter in some five to six school buildings until their houses were built.

The civic body would offer drinking water, first-aid, meals and makeshift toilets and provide financial aid if needed, added Atiqul.

Meanwhile, fire fighters have been conducting a search operation at the slum since morning. So far, they have enlisted 300 families who have been affected by the fire that gutted 600 houses on Friday night.

Most of the slum dwellers passed the night in the streets and in the open space of the nearby Public Works Department office premises and some were seen at nearby building premises.

Many of them suffered minor burn injuries while escaping the fire last night. They were given primary treatment from the local pharmacies.

Some youth volunteers have provided food for the victims at nearby Bangabandhu Biddyaniketon School where some of them have taken shelter for the time being.

Yesterday morning, this correspondent found nothing but tin in the slums. Some were seen trying desperately to salvage whatever they could. Due to Eid, most of the slum dwellers had left for their village homes. Many have returned to Dhaka after receiving the news of the fire.

Meanwhile, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir demanded a fair and neutral investigation into the incident.    

“Fire incidents at the city slums have increased in recent times, hitting the destitute hard. A neutral probe body needs to be set up to look into the matter,” he said.

The BNP leader also said stern action must be taken if anyone was involved in the incident.

He said about 30,000 families lost their belongings in the fire. “The government must give them compensation and take steps for their rehabilitation,” he said.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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