Touching his lifeless body covered with a blanket, the sister of Ibrahim Khalil cries at the burn unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday afternoon. Photo: Anisur Rahman
Three more victims of Thursday's fire at a Tejturi Bazar shop died raising the death toll to four yesterday.
Abdul Motalib, 13, who used to work at the shop, died of his wounds around 11:30pm last night at the intensive care unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital's burn unit.
He had around 75 percent of his body burnt and was suffering with inhalation injuries.
His brother Md Parvez told The Daily Star that Motalib was the youngest of his siblings and he had been working at the shop since he was 11 years old.
Shafiul Azam, 56, manager of the shop, also died of his injuries at the burn unit at 1:00pm. Twenty minutes later, Ibrahim Khalil, 36, who was walking past the shop on that fateful day, died at the same hospital.
“Khalil was an electrician who used to repair broken IPSs [instant power supply units]. He had gone to Tejturi Bazar to buy spare parts,” said his wife Lovely Begum, clutching his body and weeping.
Earlier, around 1:00am yesterday, Abdul Latif, 50, a rickshaw-van puller who was in front of the shop when it caught fire, died of his wounds.
The fire and explosion at Mahfuz Sewing and Electric, a shop that sells accessories for garment factories, left at least 11 people with serious burn injuries on Thursday. Gas spewing from an open 200-litre paint thinner barrel had ignited and flames whooshed along the narrow alley in front of the shop housed on the ground floor of a residential building.
Several pedestrians were hurt.
Among the injured, three are fighting for their lives with over 30 percent of their bodies burnt.
Zakir with 25 percent of his body burnt and Zahirul with 34 percent burnt are being treated at the intensive care unit alongside shop owner Mahmudul Azam with 35 percent of his body burnt.
“All of them suffered inhalation injuries which occurred when they breathed the fire in and hot gases burnt their breathing tracts,” veteran burn injury expert Shamanto Lal Sen had told The Daily Star on Thursday.
A case was filed with Tejgaon Police Station regarding the deaths of the three. It cited them as unnatural deaths, said Officer-in-Charge Mazharul Islam of Tejgaon Police Station.
“We could not file a case against the owner. He is struggling for his life at the burn unit. We understand it [lack of safety measures at the shop] was an oversight on his part,” said Mazharul.
Meanwhile, a victim of another fire, fuelled by chemicals, died of his injuries at the burn unit yesterday.
Mofiz, 40, who worked at a chemical store in Chhota Katra in the capital, had more than half of his body burnt in the fire.
On April 2, his colleagues were pouring chemicals from one barrel to another when Mofiz lit a cigarette. The explosion that followed claimed the lives of Kabir, 30 and Abdul Aziz, 30, too.