Probe begins, PM visits Bashundhara | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 15, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 15, 2009

Probe begins, PM visits Bashundhara

The government-formed probe committee yesterday began its investigation into the Friday's fire incident at Bashundhara City Complex.
After visiting the spot, the committee members said they would keep in mind all possible causes including sabotage behind the fire incident.
The probe body will examine whether the complex was equipped with modern and automated fire-fighting equipment and if so, why those did not work.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday visited the mall where a fire broke out on the 17th floor at about 1:45pm killing seven people and injuring 20 others.
PM's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters that Hasina got down at the mall on the way to her Dhanmondi office from the PM's Jamuna residence.
She enquired about the progress in the investigation and the damage done by the inferno.
PM's adviser Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiqui was also present.
Meanwhile, the relatives of the seven victims burnt to death at the complex received the bodies without any autopsy.
The dead are Bashundhara City Complex firemen Baki Billah, 40, Anisur Rahman Babu, 22, and Harun-ur Rashid, 48, electrician Ibrahim Mondal, 37, supervisor Mohammad Ali, 55, decorator Renu Sarkar, 27, and plumber Mohammad Hamidul, 25.
Of them, Baki slipped and fell while trying to climb down a rope. The rest were burnt to death getting trapped on the 17th floor.
Home Minister Sahara Khatun and Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday visited the injured at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Both the ministers admitted that the Fire Brigade lacks necessary equipment.
The home minister said Fire Brigade will be modernised soon with state of the art equipment and fire fighters will be given training to tackle such fire incidents efficiently in future.
The finance minister said the three-member enquiry committee will examine all aspects of the fire incident.
Fire Brigade Director (Training) Maj Matiur Rahman, also a member of the probe body, told The Daily Star, "The fire gutted five floors -- from 15 to 19 -- and damaged the 14th floor partially."
He said they talked to two Bashundhara Complex architects about the mall's fire-fighting system.
Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, joint secretary (Police) of home ministry and also head of the committee, said, "We are collecting information from the witnesses to find out the cause of the fire."

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