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Dhaka Saturday,  Mar 23, 2019

‘Fire originates from gas cylinder blast’

A devastating fire breaks out at a building at Chawkbazar in the capital on Wednesday night. Fire fighters try to douse as fire spreads to nearby buildings. Photo: Focus BanglaIndustries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Thursday said the Chawkbazar fire that claimed many lives originated from a gas cylinder blast, reports UNB.

He made the claim while talking to reporters at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) after visiting those injured in the fire incident.

The minister said Wahed Mansion, a four-storey building which caught the fire first, housed a hotel while there was a vehicle with gas cylinders for delivering those to households. “The explosion took place from any of them.”

The minister, however, said his ministry has formed a 12-member committee with additional industries secretary M Mofizul Haque as its convener to find out the reason behind the inferno, assess the extent of losses and make recommendations to prevent the reoccurrence of such incident.

The committee will submit its report within five working days, he said, adding that the industries ministry will take necessary actions based on the report.

Replying to a query, Nurul Majid said two projects have been taken to relocate chemical and plastic factories from the old part of Dhaka to a safer place.

Earlier, the minister visited the spot at Chawkbazar.

At least 81 people were killed and 41 others injured in a devastating fire that broke out at a chemical warehouse and raged through four other adjacent buildings in the city’s Chawkbazar area on Wednesday night.

Major AKM Shakil Newaz, director (Operation and Maintenance) of Fire Service and Civil Defence, at a press briefing on the spot in the morning told reporters that a total of 70 bodies were recovered from the buildings.

Besides, 11 others succumbed to their injuries at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), duty officer at the Fire Service Central Control Room Rasel Shikder told UNB around 4:15pm.

Shakil Newaz said 41 people were rescued alive while the flame was doused at 6:30am. A total of 39 units of firefighters took part in extinguishing the fire.

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