• Tuesday, Apr 07, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:36 am

Probe team: FR Tower fire probably caused by electric short circuit

  • Published at 05:53 pm March 31st, 2019
Firefighters working to douse the fire at FR Tower in Dhaka's Banani on Thursday, March 28, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The disclosure comes after the committee recorded accounts of 24 witnesses

A government investigation committee suspects that the fire at FR Tower, which killed 26 people, originated from an electric short circuit on the seventh floor of the building situated in Dhaka’s Banani.

Additional Secretary Md Faizur Rahman, head of the probe body formed by the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, came up with the information on Sunday afternoon.

He was talking to reporters after ending the public hearing on Thursday’s fire incident at a temporary police control room near FR Tower.

The hearing was held from 10am to 12pm where statements of 24 witnesses were recorded.

The committee will submit its probe report on Wednesday based on information provided by the witnesses and victims, many of whom are undergoing treatment at different hospitals.

Faizur Rahman said the main purpose of the public hearing was to identify the origin of the fire and provide some recommendations to find out ways of saving people in the case of recurrence of such incidents.

Replying to a question, he said: "No fire alarm rang during the fire incident and the building’s emergency exit is narrow while some were found sealed off during the incident. That's why people failed to use the door."

Besides, the smoke created by the fire filled up the staircases and the floors, causing suffocation to people, he said.

"We did not find any witnesses from the seventh floor where the fire broke out first," he said.

As the building was made of glasses, smoke could not pass and spread throughout the floors and staircases, making it difficult for people to escape, Faizur said.

The fire had broken out on the seventh floor of the high-rise on Thursday, killing 25 people on the spot and injuring 70 more.

Later, a man injured in the deadly fire succumbed to his injuries on Saturday, taking the death toll to 26.