Old Dhaka Fire: ‘This is my brother, have you found his body?’
01:27 PM, February 21, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:14 PM, February 21, 2019

‘This is my brother, have you found his body?’

In the chaos of eerie wails and hustling around the Dhaka Medical College Hospital stood a man holding a picture and asking around in despair.

Around 50 years of age and the folds of the skin just beginning to appear, Abdus Salam Azad was fighting to hold back his tears as he was running up and down the hospital.

He was holding a years-old picture of his younger brother Billal Hossain, 44, who has been missing since last night after the ghastly fire broke out in Chawkbazar.

Coming up from a struggling working-class family, Billal was employed as a tailor man for a decorator agency which had its office just next to where disaster struck.

Azad has heard that the owner of the decorator agency and another employee of the office had died in the fire. But he could get no trace of his younger brother.

Post midday, he was still looking for an answer to convey to the family of his brother – to tell his eight-year-old daughter if her father was alive or dead.

At least 70 people have died in the ghastly fire that broke out in Chawkbazar last night. The bodies, some of them unrecognisable, have been kept at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Sohel Mahmud, head of forensics at the medical college, told The Daily Star that many of the bodies have been charred beyond recognition.

Bodies with a claim will be handed over while the others will be subjected to DNA testing.

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