Eight people including seven of a family suffered burns in a fire believed to have originated from accumulated gas in the capital's Demra area early yesterday.
All eight victims were admitted to hospital as they had burns in the respiratory tracts too, said Dr Partha Sankar Paul, resident surgeon of the Burn Unit at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
The condition of three of the victims was stated to be very critical.
The fire originated with a huge explosion around 3:00am on the first floor of a three-storey building in Konapara area when most of the victims were asleep.
A portion of the walls of the floor and windows of the flat collapsed due to its impact, the victims said.
Firefighters suspect the explosion occurred after gas accumulated in the flat had somehow come in contact with fire.
Of the injured, Alamgir Hossain, 46, a day labourer, sustained eight percent burns, his wife Ferdousi Begum, 36, six percent, their son Emon Hossain nine percent, Shipon Hossain, 13, 20 percent, and two-year-old Tasim suffered four percent burns.
Besides, Alamgir's nephew Tofayel Ahmed, 25, who shares the flat with his uncle, sustained nine percent burns, his newly-wed wife Ratna Begum, 18, 46 percent burns and caretaker Arif Hossain, 35, who lives in a nearby room, sustained 15 percent burns.
Alamgir alleged that they smelt gas in their flat for last three days and informed about it to the caretaker and owner of the building Abdus Sattar in vain.
“As soon as the fire originated, I took my son Tasim and tried to get out but failed as the collapsible gate was locked,” Alamgir told The Daily Star.
He, however, went to the tin-shed rooftop of a nearby building through a hole on the wall created following the explosion. Locals later broke the gate, rescued the injured and sent them to DMCH.
Tofayel, who works at a bag factory, said he returned home around 2:30am from his workplace near Dogair area.
“I was preparing to go to bed and my wife went to toilet when the fire engulfed the entire flat followed by a loud bang. I do not know how I managed to get out,” he said lying on the bed at DMCH.
A duty official of the Fire Service and Civil Defence told The Daily Star that the fire extinguished before their units rushed to the spot.