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Uttara death toll now 6

Condition of 3 survivors grave; probe on
The wife of an Uttara shopping mall fire victim, 2nd from right, wails and prays at the burn unit of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital yesterday. Her husband, engineer Mahmudul Hasan Ripon, had died of his wounds earlier in the day. Their two children who had also suffered severe burns in the incident were undergoing treatment at the hospital. Photo: Star

Another victim of the horrifying Uttara shopping arcade lift accident died yesterday, raising the death toll to six.

Mahmudul Hasan Ripon, 36, who suffered 80 percent burns, died of his injuries at the intensive care unit of the Burn Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) around 4:00am, said family and hospital sources.

Ripon was an official of the shopping complex.

Ripon's two children also suffered burns and were under treatment at the same unit.

Samanta Lal Sen, national coordinator of the burn units of the country, told The Daily Star that both the children were in critical condition.

An eight-member medical board has been formed for the treatment of the two children. Two of the board members told The Daily Star that their condition was grave. They said both the children had inhalation burns.

Ripon's mother cries embracing a relative there. Photo: Star

At least five people, including two women, died and more than 100 others were injured in a deadly fire at Tropical Alauddin Tower Shopping Complex after a lift fell in its shaft in the capital's Uttara Friday evening.

The falling lift prompted a fire at one of the three basements of the 15-storey shopping arcade, police said.

Maj Shakil Newaz, director (operations and maintenance) of the Fire Service and Civil Defence, said they conducted another rescue operation yesterday but could not find any victims there.

A probe at their end was underway and they were hopeful about submitting a report in seven days, he told a television channel.

During a visit to the DMCH Burn Unit, this correspondent found that many relatives of the victims thronged the corridor adjacent to the HDU unit.

Some of them were wailing, some praying and some were consoling others.

Ripon's wife Moni was wailing.

People crowed in front of the shopping arcade, where the fire broke out on Friday after a lift fell in its shaft. Photo: Star

Moni said, “Muntasir [her son] suffered 23 percent burns to his body, but his condition was not improving.”

Ripon's maternal uncle Sultan Badsha said Ripon along with his two children went to his office in the basement of the shopping complex to attend an Iftar mahfil from his house in Uttara-13.

Ripon's father and wife also went to the venue on a rickshaw. As soon as they arrived, the explosion occurred.

Before his death, Ripon told Moni about what he had seen there when the fire broke out.

She quoted her husband as saying, “I cannot take care of you anymore. Please forgive my inability.”

Sultan Badsha said Ripon's younger son was born in the US and the family came to the country on the first week of December 2015 when the child was only 45 days old.

They were saving money to move back to the US.

Ali Hossain Khan, officer-in-charge of Uttara Pashchim police, said an unnatural death case was filed in this connection yesterday.

The police official said there was an explosion when the lift fell.

He added a primary investigation found that two to three people were inside the lift at that time.

The OC said traders at the building and the imam of the mosque, which was in the basement, had complained to Ripon about gas leaking. They told the OC that Ripon had told them he would look into the matter but he never got around to do it.

He said a Rajuk team visited spot yesterday and representatives of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd would probably visit the spot today.

Pedestrian Shapla suffered serious injuries Friday evening. She was passing the area when a glass panel of the building on fire fell on her. She is currently on life support at Uttara Crescent Diagnostic and Consultation Centre.

Tofazzal Hossain, manager of the hospital, she had suffered brain haemorrhage.

The bodies of the six deceased in the incident were handed over to their families after autopsies.

Morgue sources said two of the victims had died of burn injuries and the rest four died of impact-related injuries.


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১০-১৫ দিনের মধ্যে বিদ্যুৎ সমস্যার সমাধান হবে: প্রধানমন্ত্রী

তিনি বলেন, 'বৃষ্টির অভাবে দুর্ভোগ আরও বেড়েছে। আমরা বারবার মিটিংয়ে বসে উপায় খুঁজে বের করছি এবং এই দুর্ভোগ কমানোর চেষ্টা করছি।'