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12 August, 2017 12:24:56 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 12 August, 2017 11:24:27 AM
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Fire disrupts operations at Shahjalal airport

Probe body formed, asked to report in 7 working days
STAFF REPORTER
Fire disrupts operations at Shahjalal airport
Anxious people, including passengers, stand outside the terminal building of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital as fire service personnel fight the fire that broke out at the Air India office on the second floor of the building yesterday. Photo: Nazmul Islam

A fire that broke out yesterday at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport triggered panic among passengers and delayed all outgoing flights. All activities were suspended at the departure lounge at that time. Airport security and fire service sources said the fire broke out at the Air India office on the second floor of the building around 1:37pm. The fire soon spread to two other offices. People scampered for safety as smoke was billowing out of the office. Passengers, including Hajj pilgrims, airport staff and airlines staff were evacuated soon after the incident.

On-duty airport officials tried to bring the fire under control using extinguishers, but to no avail.  The fire unit of the airport then rushed to the spot to douse the fire. They were assisted by 10 units of the fire service department. The fire was eventually brought under control around 2:30pm.

No casualty was reported in the incident.  A primary probe has indicated that the fire was caused by a short-circuit.

Rashed, commanding officer of the Airport Armed Police

Battalion, told reporters: “The schedule of inbound flights remained normal. But the flights which were supposed to take off had been suspended immediately after the fire broke out.” The duty officer at the fire service headquarters, Palash Chandra Modok, said 10 firefighting units were immediately pressed into service to douse the blaze.

Airport director Shahjalal said: “The flights which were due to take off had been delayed. However, normal services resumed soon after the fire was doused.”

APBN senior assistant superintendent of police Aftab Uddin said: “Some flights might be delayed or cancelled because of the fire.”

Mahfuzur Rahman, marketing manager of Novoair, said: “Domestic flights were not disrupted, but some international flights might be delayed.”

Meanwhile, the fire service formed a three-member committee, led by its deputy director Debasis Bardhwan, to investigate the cause of the fire. The committee will submit a report in seven working days.

Shakil Nawaj, director of the Fire Service and Civil Defence (operation and maintenance), told reporters that the cause of the fire could be determined only after the investigation.

The activities at the departure lounge became normal after 4pm after the authorities assured the passengers that the fire was completely under control.However, the incident inconvenienced passengers as they had to remain stranded at the airport for several hours.

Shahidul Haque, a Hajj pilgrim, said: “Immediately after I checked in, the fire broke out. Initially, I thought that there was nothing serious. But then I saw people running frantically to move to a safer place.”

 

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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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