12 injured in Banani building fire, gas leak suspected


Dhaka, Mar 18: At least 12 people were injured when fire broke out leaking Titas gas line at an apartment building in city`s Banani area on Friday.

People living in the six-storey building said an explosion woke them up in the early hours of Friday.

According to Banani Police Station SI Zahirul Islam, several people have been injured and three of them admitted to a Gulshan hospital.

The building at Banani’s Road No. 23 caught fire around 2am Friday, said Fire Service Official Mizanur Rahman.

However, Dhaka North City Corporation mayor Annisul Haque visited the spot and inspected the activities of firefighters.

“We have taken the matter seriously and will talk to high ups of the concerned authority in this regard,” the DNCC mayor said.

DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq supervised the fire-fighting effort. He used a hand-held mike to communicate with those trapped from the roof of a nearby building.

He went inside with the fire fighters after the blaze was doused.

One among injured has sustained burns but the rest were wounded while trying to rush out of the building, fire fighter official said..

Its residents ran up to the roof for safety and were left stranded, as flames spread from the third to the sixth floor.

Twenty-five people were rescued from the rooftop.

Fifteen firefighting units worked until 3:30am to douse the fire, Fire Service Director (Operation) Maj AKM Shakil Newaz told reporters.banani apartment fire

“We’ll investigate the cause of the fire. But we found a leak in the gas line under the building.”

A resident from the fourth floor said he woke up because of a loud explosion around 2am. The glass windows were shattered and household items were scattered all around.

He then ran to the roof when he saw the fire, he said.

The residents said gas had been leaking from a sewerage line under the building for several days, and had complained to the authorities.

A woman said they had called Titas, the distribution company, around 11:30pm but were told there were no ‘workers’ to fix the leak.

Titas Gas Deputy Director Harun Ur Rashid later told reporters about the manpower shortage. But Titas men went to the area to turn off the gas around 3:00am after the fire started.

On February 26, four members of a family had died after a gas leak caused a fire in their home inside a seven-storey building at Dhaka’s Uttara.