• Friday, May 24, 2019
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CCTV footage shows first explosion at Chawkbazar

  • Published at 03:54 pm February 23rd, 2019

Footage from a camera inside a restaurant shows a massive fire suddenly engulfing the street

Footage from the CCTV camera of a restaurant on Nanda Kumar Lane in Old Dhaka may have captured the explosion that triggered the fire at Chawkbazar on Wednesday.

The footage from the camera in Hotel Raj Mahal, on the ground floor of Haji Wahed Mansion, shows the employees of the restaurant working when the explosion rips through the street at 10:32pm on the day.

People are seen running away from the source of the fire.

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune on the night of the incident at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, victim Haji Md Salahuddin said he was sitting in a rickshaw when the explosion came from overhead, knocking down a roadside wall.

“That point (Chawkbazar Shahi Mosque point) was gridlocked. Suddenly a massive bang with fire and shockwaves totally destroyed the roadside wall,” Salahuddin said.

“I was on a rickshaw when the explosion took place, I don’t think my rickshawpuller is alive,” he said.

Salahuddin was struck by a part of the wall on his head.

“When I was finally able to stand up on my feet, I saw damaged electricity wires on the street and glass bottles, exploding like Molotov cocktails. I screamed Allahu Akbar and ran away from there.”

Asked whether it was a car cylinder that had exploded, he said: “It was the transformer above my head that exploded, not the car’s cylinder. I wasn’t far from the car. If the cylinder exploded, the car would’ve blown up. But that did not happen.”

However, Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) has said no transformers exploded in the area.

At least 67 people were killed in a massive fire that ravaged several multi-storey buildings at Nanda Kumar Lane in the Churihatta area of Chawkbazar, Old Dhaka, on Wednesday night.

It took 37 fire-fighting units 15 hours to douse the flames.