Four people of a family, including two students, narrowly escaped death but sustained injuries as bricks from an adjacent under-construction high-rise fell on them through the tin roof of their house at Dhopa Para in Chittagong city's Kazirdewri area early yesterday.
Tagor Bala Das, 70, sustained injuries to her legs and back; while Sahadeb Das, 23, Ovi Das, 19, and Arup Das, 24, to their hands and legs, said doctors at Chittagong Medical College Hospital where they were admitted.
Of them, Tagar's condition was critical, said Dr Biswajit Das.
Arup is a student of Government City College while Sahadeb of East Delta University, they told The Daily Star at the hospital.
Locals said the bricks fell from the top floor of the eight-storey building.
“At first we thought it was a sound of thunder as it was raining and we were asleep,” said Aparna Das, daughter-in-law of Tagor Bala Das.
She said, “My mother-in-law was covered with a pile of bricks and she became unconscious.”
Tagar Bala's son Gopal Chandra Das alleged that there has been no safety measure around the building for about three years. “Chunks of brick often fell onto the roof. We requested the owner to cover the site with safety net but he did not pay any heed…”
Hasan Bin Shams, executive engineer of Chittagong Development Authority, said according to the CDA building code, maintaining safety measures is a must for construction sites.
When asked why no action was taken against the building owner, Hasan said CDA chief town planner Shahinul Islam Khan would be the right person to reply to this question.
Shahinul could not be contacted as his cellphone remained switched off.
The building owner Eteram Hossain said they maintained such “safety net”, but it was removed as the construction work has been “postponed” for several months. “We will cover it up with net tomorrow.”