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28 February, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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3 killed, 5 injured in Eskaton fire

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
3 killed, 5 injured in Eskaton fire

At least three people, including a child, died and six were injured after a fire broke out in a building in Dhaka's Eskaton area early yesterday. The fire originated in the five-storey building on Dilu Road around 4:30am, confirmed Md Azad, duty officer of the Fire Service and Civil Defense headquarters. Nine units of firefighters rushed to the spot and doused the flames around 5am, he said.

The cause of the fire could not be ascertained immediately. An investigation is underway in this regard.

The deceased were identified as Abdul Kader Liton, 45, Afrin Jannat, 17 and AKM Rushdi, 5, by their family members at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

The rescuers found three people dead at the scene, while five others have been hospitalized. The authorities recovered a body from the garage, while the other victims, including the child, were found on the staircase on the third floor.

Shahidul Islam, 40, and his wife Jannatul Ferdousi, 35, could be idenfied among the injured. They suffered 43 per cent and 95 per cent burns respectively. Shahidul, father of AKM Rushdi, is the finance manager of VIVP Estate Management Firm, while Jannatul works in the finance department of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Also injured were Sumaiya Akhter 30, Mahadi, 9, Monir Hossain, and nine-month-old Mahmudul Hasan. They lived on the fifth floor of the building and are members of the same family. They were being treated in the DMCH emergency department.

Witnesses said by the time firefighters managed to reach the spot, the fire had engulfed the whole building. Five cars kept in the garage of the house were reduced to ashes.

A resident of an adjacent building told The Independent that they heard screams from the five-storey apartment around 4am. “We were afraid as the whole area was full of smoke. We could hear people shouting and screaming. But there was no sight of firefighters. They finally arrived at the spot about one hour later,” he said.

Another witness, who did not want to reveal his name, said at one stage the firefighters presumed that the fire had been doused and left the spot. But the flames broke out again as soon as they left the area. “Later, they came back again and doused the fire. They recovered gas cylinders from a mechanic’s shop beside the garage,” he added.

Though no one could pinpoint the reason behind the fire, locals claimed that an electrical short circuit might have caused the fire, which eventually fed itself with wooden furniture in the garage. Three floors of the five-story building have mostly been gutted. The fire spread via the room near the staircase and the surrounding area. Locals said the guard of the building did not notice the fire at first. When he sensed the danger, it was too late.

Residents of the building tried to use the staircase but could not do so as heavy smoke engulfed the area. A family from third floor broke the grills and managed to come out. One family jumped from an upper floor and got severely injured.  

Khandaker Selim, sub-inspector (SI) of Hatirjheel police station, said two of the bodies were completely burned. So, the forensic department has been asked to collect DNA samples from those bodies. “There was not more than one claimant for each body. That’s why the bodies have been handed over to their family members,” he explained.

The body of Abdul Kader did not have burn marks. He probably died of suffocation from the resulting smoke.

 

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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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