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FR Tower fire sparked by short circuit: State Minister

Published : Wednesday, 17 April, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 642

The probe body on Banani's FR Tower fire incident claimed that an electric short circuit on the eighth floor of the FR Tower sparked the deadly fire that killed 26 people on March 28 this year.
However, the fire fighting system in the building was not satisfactory. The authority has found lacks in the fire fighting arrangement in the building, State Minister for Disaster Management Dr Enamur Rahman said on Tuesday.
The Minister was briefing media about its preparation to tackle probable natural calamities in the country during the upcoming monsoon.
Earlier, the State Minister chaired an inter-ministerial meeting on preparation of tackling disasters at the Ministry conference room.
The Ministry's probe committee and representatives of various ministries attended the meeting.
The probe body led by its Additional Secretary Faizur Rahman submitted the probe report on April 7 this year within the stipulated period given for investigating the incident.
While briefing, Dr Enamur said, "Beginning on the eighth floor, the fire spread to the ninth and 10th floors. A number of people died because of smoke in the 11th, 12th and 13th floors.
Enamur admitted that the Fire Service and Civil Defense lacks equipment. But, the ministry is satisfied with the initiatives taken by the fire service authority to control the fire and save the tenants of the building.
"We wanted to procure equipment worth Tk 1,000 crore but after Churihatta and FR Tower fires we understood that this budget is insufficient. We are now planning to increase the budget for buying modernized equipment for saving life," he added.
Seventy-one people were killed after a deadly blaze swept through several buildings in Old Dhaka in late February. Many of the capital's buildings are unplanned and lack proper firefighting equipment.
"We have realized that we need heavy machinery and a bigger budget to ensure fire extinguishing system. It would be allocated soon for collecting machinery," the State Minister added.
The meeting of the National Disaster Management Council will be held on April 18 at the Prime Minister's Office.  The Premier will chair the meeting. The proposal of budgetary allocation for procurement of the equipment will be placed there. Hopefully, necessary allocations will be given there, he added.
He also informed that the meeting had asked the authorities concerned to ensure adequate fire fighting arrangement in every building.
At the same time, the WASA authority has also been asked to construct more water hydrants to ensure supply of water during such incidents.
The State Minister elaborated the Ministry's steps to tackle disasters in the country.

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