All of the deceased were being treated at the isolation unit
At least five patients have died in a devastating fire incident at the makeshift Coronavirus Unit of United Hospital in Dhaka, Gulshan Police OC SM Kamruzzaman said.
The Fire Service and Civil Defence sent three units to the spot after the fire broke out around 9:55pm on Wednesday.
Brigadier General Sazzad Hossain, Director General (DG) of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, said: “The firefighters have recovered five bodies from the makeshift isolation unit.”
He, however, said they were not sure about the source of the fire. “It will be confirmed after the investigation,” said the DG.
The Covid-19 unit of the hospital was a tent-like makeshift structure which did not have sufficient firefighting equipment, he added.
The dead included four men and a woman, said Baridhara fire station’s Senior Station Officer Abul Kalam Azad.
They have been identified as Monir Hossain, 75, Mohammad Mahbub, 50, Vernon Anthony Paul, 74, Riazul Alam, 45 and Khodeja Begum, 70.
Sudip Kumar Chakraborty, DC of (Gulshan Division) of DMP, said that three of the five victims were Covid-19 positive while the rest two found to be negative.
The coronavirus positive victims will be buried with the help of DGHS maintaining WHO guidelines, he said.
“The hospital authorities will hand over the other bodies to their relatives,” he added.
Alamgir Hossain, son of deceased Khodeja Begum, said they got her admitted to the hospital the day before Eid with Covid-19 symptoms.
But, her test result came out negative, he said, adding: “She was supposed to be released from the hospital soon.”
Three firefighting units rushed to the spot and doused the fire around 10:30pm, Kamrul Islam, duty officer at the Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarters, said.
Investigation committee formed
The fire service has formed a five-member probe body, headed by Deputy Director (Dhaka) Debasis Bardhan, to investigate into the incident.
Meanwhile, issuing a statement later in the night, the hospitals authorities said the fire broke out at the Coronavirus Isolation Unit, setup on the badminton court besides the main building.
Expressing grief over the incident, it stated that the hospital’s own firefighters with the help of the fire service personnel doused the flame within 15/20 minutes of the ignition.
They also thanked the law enforcement agencies and the firefighters for their support towards the hospital authorities and efforts in handling the situation.