Banani fire caused by electric short circuit: Probe body chief  

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Dhaka, Mar 31: The probe committee formed by the Home and Disaster Management and Relief Ministries suspected that the fire at FR Tower originated from an electric short-circuit on the 7th floor of the building that killed 26 people.Additional Secretary Faijur Rahman, head of the probe body formed by the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry, came up with the information while talking to reporters after ending the public hearing on the fire incident at a temporary police control room near FR Tower on Sunday.

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

The committee will submit its probe report on April 3 based on information of 24 witnesses and victims, who are undergoing treatment at different hospitals.

Faijur Rahman said the main purpose of the public hearing is 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, Faijur Rahman said, “No fire alarm rang during the fire incident and the emergency exit way in the building is narrow while some were found sealed off during the incident. That’s why people failed to use the door.”

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

“We didn’t 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, he said.

A fire broke out on the seventh floor of the high-rise on Thursday, killing 25 people and injuring 70 more. Later, a man injured in the deadly fire succumbed to his injuries on Saturday, taking the death toll from the incident to 26.