The death toll in the deadly fire that ripped through 22-storey FR Tower in Dhaka’s Banani area yesterday has reached 25, police said today.
“Bodies of 25 victims in the fire incident have been recovered and identified,” said Mostaq Ahmed, deputy commissioner (Gulshan division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
“Of them, 24 have been handed over to the families,” he told journalists while visiting the site of the incident this morning.
DC Mostaq also said that the fire service officials were still continuing their operation and will hand over the building to the police after around an hour.
A total of 21 police team will then work inside the building, he said, adding that each team will comprise of nine police officials including a sub-inspector (SI) and an assistant sub-inspector (ASI).
The fire broke out around 12:50pm yesterday, trapping several hundred people inside the building. Many of them screamed for help, waving hands and cloths on different floors as hundreds of onlookers crowded the adjacent Kemal Ataturk Avenue.
A total of 22 firefighting units, backed by the army, the navy and the air force personnel, struggled to tame the blaze.
The fire was brought under control around 4:45pm and doused at 7:00pm.
Around 100 people were also injured. The injured were admitted to Kurmitola Hospital, United Hospital and Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Those with critical injuries are being treated there while others were released after primary treatment.
Syeda Amina Yasmin, 48, of Bhola; Md Monir Hosen, 52, of Barishal; Md Maksudur Rahman, 32, of Dhaka; Md Abdullah Al Mamun, 40, of Dinajpur; Md Mostafizur Rahman, 36, of Rangpur; Md Mizanur Rahman, of Khulna; Florida Khanam Poli, 45, of Dhaka’s Runagar; Ataur Rahman, 62, of Dhaka; Md Rezaul Karim Raju, 40, of Chandpur; Ahmmad Jafar, 59, of Narayanganj; Jebunnesa, 30, of Noakhali; Md Salahuddin Mithu, 25, of Dhaka; Nahidul Islam Tusher, 35, of Tangail; Tanjila Mouli, 25, of Bogura; Md Parvez Sazzad, 46, of Gopalganj.
The rests are: Iftiar Hosen Mithu, 37, of Kushtia; Sheikh Janin Tasmin Bristi, 25, of Jashore; Md Fazle Rabbi, 30, of Narayanganj; Atiqur Rahman, 42, of Shariatpur; Anjil Siddique Abir, 27, of Lalmonirhat; Abdullah Al Faruk, 32, of Dhaka; Rumki Akhter, 30, of Nilphamari; Md Manjur Hasan, 49, of Naogaon; Amir Hosen Rabbi, 29, of Pabna; and Nirosh, a Sri Lankan national.
The Banani fire incident, that has claimed 25 lives, comes barely a month after a devastating fire ripped through Old Dhaka’s Chawkbazar area on February 20, leaving 71 people dead.
The Chawkbazar fire, which sparked from a chemical warehouse, is the second deadliest chemical-fuelled fire in the country after the 2010 Nimtoli incident.
Fire incidents at the city’s burgeoning skyscrapers are nothing new. Cramped buildings, narrow alleyways, lack of fire security kits, inadequate fire exits in the skyscrapers are often considered a recipe of disasters.