May 17, 2021

Bangladesh arrests owners of burned building that left 26 dead

Bangladesh arrests owners of burned building that left 26 dead

Two of the owners of the skyscraper burned down Thursday in Dhaka, where 26 people died and 73 were injured, were arrested by police after it was discovered that the building that burned for several hours had no emergency exits, authorities said today.

One of the owners of the building located in the exclusive Banani area, Tasvir Ul Islam, was arrested around 22.45 on Saturday (16.45 GMT), while S.M.H.I. Faruque was arrested around 1.30 today (7.30 GMT on Saturday), Dhaka Police Chief Detective Mashiur Rahman told Efe.

"The building had engineering failures and had some illegal areas, it also lacked fire safety measures, the owners were accused of negligence and indifference which caused so many deaths," he said.

The police chief said that they are also looking for the building's constructor, the third defendant in this case.

The death toll rose to 26 in the last hours due to the death of a man seriously injured in the fire that succumbed to his injury in a military hospital on Saturday, said Efe Gulshan Ara, a spokesman for the Banani police station.

The fire occurred around 12.50 local time on Thursday in one of the lower floors of the building, located in a commercial area of ​​the capital city.

Many people were trapped inside during the fire as the building did not have an emergency door.

Bangladeshi authorities vowed to crack down on security violations in buildings, and the government called the deaths "murders."

Bangladesh has been under scrutiny for years for its precarious industrial safety conditions, with poor low-cost facilities susceptible to fires and landslides.

According to data from the Bangladesh Fire Services, between 2004 and 2018 some 1,970 people died in the Asian country in the 89,923 fires registered in that period.

Only so far this year, there have been three large fires in the country with fatalities, the last of which on February 20 devastated seven buildings in the old part of the capital and caused 70 deaths and dozens of injuries.

That same month, nine other people lost their lives in a fire in a shanty town of Chittagong, in the south of the country.


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