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POST TIME: 22 February, 2019 01:08:57 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 February, 2019 12:44:03 PM
Air grows heavy around DMCH
MUBTASIM FUAD, Dhaka

Air grows heavy  around DMCH

Relatives of fire victims were seen wailing outside the Dhaka Medical College (DMCH) morgue and in front of the DMCH emergency unit. The devastating fire broke out in a building at Chawkbazar in the old part of Dhaka around 10.40pm on Wednesday. Kawsar Ahmed, Rasu, Asraful, Faruk and two other dental patients were among the dead. They were in a medicine shop, "Al-Modina Pharmacy" and could not escape as the shutters of the shop were pulled down when the fire broke out.

Riaz, grief-stricken brother of Kawsar, told The Independent that his brother was a final-year student of the Dhaka University's management department. To take the family's responsibility, Kawsar along with a friend, started the medicine business. Among the two dental patients, Kazi Anamul (28), brother of Kazi Amir Hossain, was crying outside the morgue as he could barely identify his brother’s body. Rashidul Islam, a

tea-stall employee at Hatirpool, his wife and their two sons were on a rickshaw and passing through the lane of Chawkbazar where the fire broke out. The family, which lives in the Juriangul area of Lalbagh, was on their way to a dinner invitation of their elder son’s friend on the fateful night.

Rashidul’s cousin, Mohammad Hanif, said the four were on the same rickshaw when it came to a halt in front of the Hazi Wahed Mansion around 10:30pm.

While stuck in traffic, an explosion occurred, throwing debris and sparks of fire on the four. As fire ripped through the area, the older child (11) managed to jump off the rickshaw with six per cent burns. But his parents, Rashidul (39), Sonia Islam (31), and his little brother Shaheer (4), all lost their lives in the fire.

The father’s body was found locking in an embrace with Shaheer’s body in the emergency morgue of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Sonia’s body, too, was found there.

“After treatment, the elder brother, Ramim, a fifth grade student, is now with her grandmother,” Hanif said.

A 22-year-old man named Shohag, who suffered 60 per cent burns, was admitted to the intensive care unit. His father, Abu Taher, a 65-year-old day labourer, was seen crying outside, while his wife, Bedana Begum, stayed with her son.  

Shohag’s condition is critical because of the extensive burns throughout his body, said burns unit doctor Hossain Imam.

Outside the morgue, Jarina Begum lost consciousness when she knew of the death of her two brothers, Md Ali and Apu. It is known from Jarina Begum that after finishing work in their shop at Chawkbazar, three brothers, Apu, Ali and Idris were preparing to return home.

At this time, the youngest brother, Idris, got a phone call from a friend and left the two elder brothers. The son of the eldest brother, Arafat, was nearby buying medicines for his grandfather.

A little later, an explosion ripped through the area and the fire spread fast, killing Apu, Ali and the child.

Some relatives of the victims were seen crying near the burnt building.

On the third floor of “Wahid Mansion”, which was completely gutted, a pregnant woman, Ria, and her husband, Rifat, used to live.

A relative of Ria said: “As Ria was sick, she couldn’t escape. Rifat refused to leave without his wife. When the fire broke out, Rifat spoke to his family and said they would not be able to leave the building.”

The corridors of Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit were filled with cries of people who had lost their near and dear ones.

IK