Death toll from Banani FR Tower blaze rises to 19, injured 70; fire now under control


Dhaka, Mar 28: The death toll from the devastating fire at FR Tower in the city’s Banani area rose to 19 as 13 more bodies were recovered from the spot when the blaze was brought under control on Thursday evening.

The massive fire broke out at the multi-storey building at Kamal Ataturk Avenue around 12:45pm.

Khurshid Anwar,  senior station officer of Fire Service and Civil Defence, said 13 bodies were retrieved from the spot, while three died at United Hospital, two at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) and one at Kurmitola General Hospital.

Forty-one of the injured were admitted to Kurmitola Geberal Hosptial, 23 to United Hosptial, four to DMCH and the rest are to other hospital.dead when they were brought to the hospital from the spot.

The Fire Service and Civil Defence formed a five-member committee to investigate the fire incident.

Earlier, Officer-in-charge of Banani police station Farman Ali confirmed the death of seven people.

The deceased are identified as—Parvez Sajjad (47), Amena Yasmin (40), Mamun (36), Sri Lankan national named Nirash Chandra, Abdullah Al Faruk (32), Maksudur (66) and Monir (50).

Of the deceased, Amena died in Apollo Hospital, Parvez in Banani Clinic, Nirash Chandra in Kurmitola General Hospital, while Mamun, Maksudur and Monir died in United Hospital. Besides, Faruk died in Dhaka Medical College and Hospital.

A Sri Lankan national named Nirash Chandra also died of serious wounds he sustained after jumping off the building, Kurmitola General Hospital’s director Rashid Un Nabi said.

Quoting witnesses, a number of people jumped off FR Tower in a desperate bid to save their lives from the blaze as the multi-storey building caught fire.

When they fell to the ground, waiting people rescued them immediately and the injured were taken by ambulance to different hospitals.

A huge fire broke out at a multi-storey building at Kamal Ataturk Avenue in the city’s Banani area on Thursday.

The fire broke out around 12:45 pm on the fifth floor of the 22-storey FR Tower, said an official at Fire Service and Civil Defence control room.

Many people are believed to have got trapped in the burning building while an unspecified number of panicked people suffered injuries as they jumped off its different floors for safety.

Fire service officials feared that the fire may engulf the adjoining buildings if it cannot be doused quickly.

Residents of the adjoining buildings have left their flats fearing danger as huge black fumes are coming out of the building.

Many of the injured were taken to Kurmitola General Hospital.

The 22 firefighter units brought the blaze under control around 4:45pm, said Rasel, a duty officer at the Fire Service.

Many panicked people suffered injuries as they jumped off its different floors for safety.

Two helicopters of Air Force have joined the operation to assist the firefighters.

However, it is still not clear what caused the fire.

Besides, fire service members rescued 20 people from adjoining ‘Ahmed Tower’ by breaking its grills, according to a witnesses account.

Many people were also rescued by breaking the glasses of the burning building.

Witnesses said many of the trapped people took shelter on the rooftop of the building in their efforts to save themselves from the blaze.