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Narayanganj boy still missing; family dissatisfied with rescue efforts

  • Published at 10:04 pm November 4th, 2019
narayanganj building collapse
Iftekhar Ahmed Wazid Dhaka Tribune

The fire service has been conducting the rescue operation since the early hours of Monday

After over 24 hours since the collapse of a four-storied building in Baburail, Narayanganj, the fire service is yet to rescue Iftekhar Ahmed Wazid, 12, who remained missing at the time this report was filed.

Sixth-grader Wazid's family members and neighbours have expressed their discontent with the slow pace of the rescue mission.

The fire service has been conducting the rescue operation since the early hours of Monday, November 4, up until the filing of this report.

Abdullah Al Arefin, deputy assistant director of Narayanganj Fire Service and Civil Defense, informed the media: "Eight units of the fire service are currently taking part in the rescue mission, breaking certain walls of the collapsed building in order to gain access and locate the missing boy."

"The fire service has been using state of the art machines to conduct the operation on the ground floor of the building, and the rescue team with fire service divers will continue to search for the boy until we find him," he added.

However, Wazid's family members have complained that the lack of proper planning on the fire service's part has hindered the rescue operation. "24 hours have passed and there is still no sign of Wazid.  We cannot rely on the rescue mission. We have been trying to help them out but they won't let us in," said a member of the family.

This four-storied building in Baburail, Narayanganj collapsed on Sunday, November 3, 2019 | Dhaka Tribune

Prior to that, Wazid's family members staged a demonstration in front of the collapsed building. 

Md Jasim Uddin, deputy commissioner, Narayanganj, confirmed to Dhaka Tribune that a five member probe committee, with additional district magistrate Rehana Akter as its convener, has been formed to investigate the collapse. The committee has been tasked to provide a probe report within the next five working days.

Deputy Commissioner Md Jasim Uddin said: "The Upazila Nirbahi Officers have been ordered to draw up a list of buildings around the Tatipara canal in Baburail, Narayanganj."       

'It collapsed right in front of my eyes'

Like every other day, cousins Soyahor and Wazid went to their aunt Ramna Begum's house with their sister Shapna, to learn Arabic. Ramna Begum stepped out for a moment, leaving them inside, and she witnessed the building collapsing right in front of her. 

"It collapsed right in front of my eyes," she said.

Before Ramna could comprehend what was happening, the pillars of the building had already collapsed. 

"I kept on screaming their names, asking them to come out. Since the children were still stuck inside and were not coming out, I decided to go inside to retrieve them. However, by then, the entire building had sunk into the canal," she added. 

The building, HM Mansion, beside the Baburail canal in Munshibari,  caved in around 4:15pm on Sunday.

The deceased, Soyahor Hossain, 12, son of late Shahabuddin, and Wazid's cousin, was a student of Sunrise Kindergarten School in the locality. Both Soyahor and Wazid were in the building for their Arabic lessons at their aunt, Ramna Begum's house.

Earlier on Sunday, November 3, a sixth grader was killed while seven others were left injured when a four storey building collapse in Baburail of Narayanganj city.