Fire Incidents: PM takes a dig at onlookers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 06, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:28 AM, April 06, 2019

Fire Incidents: PM takes a dig at onlookers

Calls for changing attitude

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said those who construct buildings and use them should ensure that there are no incidents of fire.

The fire service's responsibility is to douse flames whenever a fire breaks out, she said.

Addressing a meeting of the Awami League Central Working Committee at the Gono Bhaban yesterday, she mentioned about the beating up of firefighters and damaging of fire engines by some people during the FR Tower blaze in the city's Banani on March 28.

She criticised some people for gathering in front of the building and taking selfies.

“I don't understand what is the point of taking selfies at a fire scene. Instead, they could have thrown water on the fire. They could have helped the rescue operation.”

Hasina, also the AL president, said people need to change their mentality and find ways to help people during such incidents.

The PM blasted the tendency of blocking fire exits in high-rise      buildings.

She thanked some university students, trained volunteers and common people for their quick response to the rescue operation at FR Tower.

The premier regretted that many builders and users of buildings never carried out their responsibilities. “And if anything happens, everyone blames the government.”

Bangladesh witnessed 8,461 incidents of fire at residential buildings last year. Of them, 2,088 were reported in Dhaka division.

Thirty-nine percent of the fire incidents were sparked by electric short circuits, while 19 percent by gas and 15 percent from cigarette butts.

'PEOPLE PICKED AWAMI LEAGUE'

About the December 30 national polls, Hasina said the people voted her party to power for a third consecutive term due to a massive development over the last decade.

Rejecting the BNP's various allegations, the AL chief said the party had no intention of contesting the national polls as it knew very well that people would not vote for them.

She also denied the BNP's claim that the government filed false cases against its leaders. Not a single case was false, the PM said, adding that the cases had to be lodged against those involved in arson attacks.

The PM said her government was working to take Bangladesh's economy forward.

The government was spreading the economic activities in different parts of the country through establishing economic zones, she mentioned.

About the USA's security alert for its citizens living in Bangladesh, Hasina said the alert was issued without citing any reason or giving any explanation.

“I saw the USA issued a red alert. They didn't inform us why they issued the alert and gave no explanation either.”

The AL chief said she has already asked the authorities to find out why the US issued the alert or whether they had any information.

“If they have any information about any incident that can happen in the coming days, then it is their responsibility to inform us…. They could inform our intelligence agencies so that we could take steps.”

The US embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday issued an alert for its citizens living in Bangladesh.

“In light of calls for revenge in the wake of the March 15 terrorist attack on mosques in New Zealand, we encourage US citizens to exercise heightened awareness of the ongoing threat posed by transnational terrorist organisations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda,” said the statement.

Terrorist groups, their associates, and those inspired by such organisations remain intent on attacking US and Western citizens around the world, including in Bangladesh, it mentioned.

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