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Dhaka Tribune

Korail slum fire

‘It was all over in blink of an eye’

Victims of Korail slum fire tell their stories of woe

Update : 26 Feb 2023, 11:44 PM

“The fire turned everything into ashes in the blink of an eye. I could not take anything from the room.”

Mokhtar Hossain, one of the victims of the devastating fire at Korail slum in Mohakhali area of the capital Sunday afternoon, lamented while searching for remnants of his belongings in the ashe.

He said around 62 shacks were gutted in Sunday's fire. “Only 10 days ago, another fire burnt 12 of my houses. Now this!”

In the afternoon, nine units of fire fighters rushed to the spot and brought the blaze under control around 5:30pm, a fire service official said.

No injury or casualty was reported.

However, many slum dwellers lost their prized possessions in the fire.

One of the victims, Hasina Begum saved up around Tk3 lakhs for her daughter's wedding. Now, everything is in ashes.

Hasina's daughter Lima said: “I was at work. When I came home,  there were no houses, no money. A few days ago, I withdrawn Tk2 lakh from the bank.  But now we are destitute. Everything is over. Mother managed to save her life with some clothes."

Shopkeeper Manjur Mia said: "I went to the market with my two sons. When I come to my house, I saw the grocery shop on fire. I couldn't save any goods. I just got delivery of new products last Thursday. Now I don't know where I will spend the night."

Sixty-four-year-old Azifa Begum lost her home of 15 years in the fire. 

Azifa Begum said: "I was eating lunch when the fire started.  My daughter-in-law ran out screaming fire. I looked back and saw the fire coming out through the roof. Then I ran. I don't remember anything else.” 

 Locals said small incidents of fire are a common occurrence in this slum of Beltali Adarshan Nagar. 

Four days ago, there was a fire incident. But no damage occurred.

On February 16, another  fire broke out at Korail slum around 11pm on February 16. Later, the fire was extinguished at 11:33pm with the efforts of five units of fire service.

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