Nine burned alive in Chattogram slum fire
Published : Monday, 18 February, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 507
Chattogram, Feb 17: The word 'tragedy' does not convey the depth of sadness in the true sense, when it comes to the death of Rahima, victim of a massive fire, which consumed her with three other members of her family, as she tried to recover the money she saved for her daughter's marriage.
Another Salma Akter, who fortunately survived the inferno, was searching for her valuables from the wreckage and found a new set of text books of her daughter, Taslima, a student of Class IV. "My husband is a day labourer and we live in a rented shanty at Tk 2,000 per month. To fulfill Taslima's dream to become an engineer, we are trying our best to educate her," said Salma.
"But now we have lost everything including our dream," she screamed holding the set of her daughter's books.
At least nine people were burned to death and several others injured after a fire broke out at a slum in Chattogram's Chaktai early Sunday morning.
The deceased were identified as Rahima Akhtar, 55, her two daughters Nazma, 16, and Nasrin, 5, her son Zakir, 10, Ayesha Akhtar, 35, and her nephew Shohag, 19, and a woman named Hasina, 35 and another, who could not be immediately identified. Fire Service personnel also recovered the body of an 8-month old infant from the wreckage in the morning.
Ruma, a resident of the ill-fated slum, said, "I woke up from sleep after hearing a big hue and cry of Rahima, but we couldn't resist her from entering the fire to retrieve the money she saved for her daughter's marriage."
'Those who have saved us from the fire have themselves become ashes, Ruma said while sobbing. M Elius Hossain, Chattogram Deputy Commissioner, said the blaze began early on Saturday morning in the slum near the Bhera Market area and gutted nearly 200 homes. The district administration has announced it will provide Tk 20,000 for the burial services of the dead.
DC confirmed that fire service personnel have recovered the bodies of eight people from the debris.
The district administration has also formed a four-member committee led by the additional district magistrate to investigate the cause of the fire.
Receiving information, fire service units rushed to the spot around 3:30 am, said Fire Service Deputy Assistant Director Jashim Uddin.
Ten fire trucks from four Fire Stations finally managed to put out the blaze around at 4:15am. Officer-in-Charge of Bakalia Police Station said the slum was built illegally on a private piece of land next to the Bhera Market by the Karnaphuli's Rajakhali Canal. According to another victim named, Hasina Begum, five locals, including individuals named Sattar, Farid and Helal, collected rents from the slum dwellers. Different parts of the slum were known under different names such as Sattar Colony, Farid Colony and Helal Colony.