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Dhaka Tribune

Multiplan fire doused

Update : 20 Apr 2013, 03:29 PM

A devastating fire broke out at Multiplan Centre, one of the major computer and electronic accessories market, in the capital’s New Elephant Road Saturday morning.

No casualties were reported.

“The fire originated on the third floor of the 14-storey computer market at around 10:30am, and was put out around 12:30pm, after 14 firefighting units from different fire stations (including Dhaka headquarters, Palashi and Lalbagh) came to the scene and doused the fire,” Maj Mohammad Mahboob, director of operation and maintenance of Fire Service and Civil Defence, told the Dhaka Tribune.

He said: “The fire mainly damaged the fast food restaurant on the third floor and a computer shop on the fifth floor, but the other shops are safe.”

The fire “may have originated from the fast food shop and then spread to the tenth floor through electrical wires.”

According to sources, the fire started just after shopkeepers opened their shops in the morning. After the news of the fire, most people inside managed to escape, except the 15 to 20 people who took shelter on the market rooftop and were later rescued by firefighters.

In the meantime, the inspector general of police (IGP) Hasan Mahmud Khondoker, the director general of Rab Moklesur Rahman, and the commissioner of Dhaka metropolitan police Benzir Ahmed, all visited the spot.

About the fire, IGP Khondoker told reporters this was an accident, not an act of violence.

He also said that the members of the market’s owners association and the law enforcement agencies would estimate the losses.

He added that the law officials would investigate the incident to find the reason behind the fire in order locate if the market authorities are at fault.

Later in the evening, Major Mahboob announced that a three-member probe body headed by Deputy Director (Operation) of Fire Service and Civil Defence was formed. The two other members are Assistant Director (Planning) Nurul Islam and Senior Station Officer Mofazzal Hossain.

The committee has been asked to submit the probe report within the next three working days, he added.

Toufik Hasan, president of Multiplan’s market owners association said that the fire might have originated from a cylinder in the kitchen of Bismillah Fast Food, or it might have been a short circuit in the electrical wires.

When asked about the damage, he told the Dhaka Tribune: “Thousands of shops at the market had electrical and computer goods, estimated at millions in value, and we can’t say anything without entering or calculating the losses.”

However, he avoided the issue of the lack of proper firefighting tools inside the building, refusing to give any answers regarding this matter.

Meanwhile, a shop owner of the market who requested anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune that the building’s owners are the one responsible for these losses, as they did not install sufficient firefighting tools.

“If they did, it would have been possible to douse the fire that originated in the kitchen of the fast food shop,” he added.

The shops owners, at the time of reporting, were unable to enter the market and calculate their losses, since the security guards restricted entrance due to the market still being filled with the gas that was used to douse the fire.

 

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