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Tragedy Strikes Dhaka: Bangladesh Fire Claims 46 Lives, Injures 22

Fire suspected to have originated from restaurant in 2nd floor of a 7-story building in Dhaka Thursday night

March 1, 2024 1:48 pm

Fire Service members rescue woman from atop the building that caught fire in Baily Road, Dhaka, on 29 February 2024.
Fire Service members rescue woman from atop the building that caught fire in Baily Road, Dhaka, on 29 February 2024.

BY Md Rashel

Dhaka, Bangladesh – A devastating fire erupted in a seven-story building in the heart of Dhaka on Thursday night, claiming the lives of at least 46 individuals and leaving dozens more injured, authorities confirmed on Friday. The inferno, suspected to have originated from a restaurant on the second floor, has plunged the nation into mourning and sparked urgent calls for improved safety measures.

Health Minister Samanta Lal Sen addressed reporters, revealing the grim toll of the tragedy. “We have lost 46 precious lives, and 22 individuals are currently receiving treatment for their injuries,” Sen stated, emphasizing that 10 of the injured remained in critical condition. He assured that the government would cover all medical expenses for those affected by the fire.

As families grapple with the unbearable loss, officials have begun the process of returning the bodies of the deceased to their loved ones. AKM Hedaitul Islam, an official from the Dhaka Deputy Commissioner’s office, confirmed that 33 bodies have been handed over to families thus far, marking the beginning of a painful journey of mourning and remembrance.

Rescue efforts were swift but challenging, with firefighters battling the blaze and rushing the injured to nearby hospitals, including the Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Sheikh Hasina National Institute of Burn & Plastic Surgery. The bustling building, known for its array of food restaurants, became a scene of chaos and devastation as the fire spread rapidly.

Preliminary investigations point to “Kachchi Bhai,” a food shop on the building’s second floor, as the likely source of the fire. The fire service department has launched a thorough probe, forming a five-member team to determine the exact cause and circumstances surrounding the tragic incident.

In the wake of the disaster, President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have extended their heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, pledging government support and urging swift action to prevent such calamities in the future. The nation stands united in grief, mourning the loss of lives and reflecting on the urgent need for enhanced safety protocols to safeguard against similar tragedies.

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