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Fires in 2019: 185 killed, property worth Tk330 cr destroyed

  • Published at 09:06 pm February 9th, 2020
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A fire broke out in a slum at Mirpur 6 in Dhaka on Friday, August 16, 2019 Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

The Electronics Safety and Security Association of Bangladesh (ESSAB) released this information at a press conference at Jatiya Press Club Sunday morning

A total of 185 people were killed and 586 others were injured, while property worth over Tk330 crore got damaged in fire incidents in the country in 2019.

The Electronics Safety and Security Association of Bangladesh (ESSAB) released this information at a press conference at Jatiya Press Club this morning, reports BSS.

ESSAB arranged the press conference to brief the media about different aspects of the International Fire Safety and Security Expo (IFSSE) 2020 to be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on February 13-15.

“According to the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, 24,074 incidents of fire took place throughout the country last year,” ESSAB President Motaher Hoshan Khan said in his written statement at the conference.

He said 185 people were killed and 586 others were injured, while property worth Tk330 crore 41 lakh 28 thousand and 744 was damaged in the fires during the period.

“It is a huge human and economical loss,” Motaher added.

The ESSAB president said they are going to host the 7th edition of the IFSSE to create awareness about fire safety in the country.

“Despite the fire safety system being ensured in the garment industry due to pressure from buyers, it is necessary to make the industry’s fire safety management more efficient,” he said.

The ESSAB president said it is a demand of the time to further strengthen the fire safety system everywhere from mills and factories to high rise buildings.

Even though the work on turning Sylhet and Chittagong into smart cities is currently underway, the same program is yet to be initiated in the overpopulated Dhaka city where fire incidents occur frequently, said Motaher.

“It is necessary to further strengthen the fire safety system everywhere, including the capital, to build a safe and livable country,” he said.

About the different aspects of the three-day fair, Motaher said Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi will attend the opening ceremony of the exhibition as the chief guest, while Director General of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence Brigadier General Md Sazzad Hussain, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Dr Rubana Haque will be present as special guests.

According to Motaher, fire safety and security equipments of different brands from 25 countries will be put on display in the 75 stalls at the event.

A special fire drill will be staged by the Fire Service and Civil Defence on the inaugural day of the fair.

On the second day, ‘ESSAB Safety Excellence Awards-2020’ will be given to nine organizations in commercial, industry, and residential categories.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal will be present at the event as the chief guest, while Brigadier General Md Sazzad Hussain along with RAB Director General Benzir Ahmed will be present as the special guests.

The ESSAB president said four special seminars and a special roundtable discussion will be organized during the exhibition.

Motaher informed that over 8,000 people visited the fair during the last year’s expo. 

“We expect that more than 10,000 people will visit the expo this year,” he said.

The ESSAB president said the people can visit the expo without any fee, but they will have to register their names.

“We are working to build social awareness about fire safety through the fair and it will continue in future,” he added.

Brigadier General Md Sazzad Hussain, ESSAB Secretary General Mohammad Mahmud, Convener of IFSSE-2020 Zakir Uddin Ahmed and Co-Convener Mamud-e-Khoda were also present at the press conference.