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Over a thousand shanties gutted by fire in Mirpur, many injured

Published : Saturday, 17 August, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 884

A fire breaks out at a slum at Chalantika in the city's Mirpur area on Friday.	photo: Observer

A fire breaks out at a slum at Chalantika in the city's Mirpur area on Friday. photo: Observer

Over a thousand shanties were gutted in a devastating fire that broke out at Chalantika slum in Mirpur-7 area of Dhaka Friday evening.
The slum was seen burning in the fire till filling of this report at 11pm on Friday.
Sources at the Fire Service and Civil Defence Central Control Room said the fire originated at a shanty of the slum on the west side of Al Arabia Mosque around 7:20pm and it engulfed the adjoining ones.
On information, 20 fire-fighting units rushed to douse the blaze, they said.
The slum dwellers claimed that nearly 1,500-2,000 shanties were damaged in the fire and feared that over 5000 shanties would be gutted as the fire fighters could not control the blaze at all till 11 pm.
A number of injured people were seen to be rushed to medicals. However no loss of life was reported.
The blaze destroyed everything as most of the shanties were locked from outside as most of the dwellers had travelled to their home towns or villages to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha and were yet to return.
Some people were seen bursting into tears as their valuables were gutted in the fire. Many were trying to remove their valuables from the shanties, our correspondents said.  
Mohammad Motaleb, a shop keeper, told the Daily Observer the fire originated from a shanty near his shop. The cause of the fire could not      be confirmed immediately, though the fire fighters primarily suspected it as a result of electric short circuit.   
Quoting from witnesses, online news agency said the fire spread to the ground floor of a four-storey mosque next to the slum. The fire service first sent seven units when its control room received the report after 7:15pm on Friday.
The other units joined in later, Ershad Hossain, an official at the control room told journalists.
Mokbul Hossain, a resident of the slum said the slum had three units - No. 7, No. 8, and
Arambagh - with a total of around 5,000 families.
The fire burnt down his shanty after originating from the centre of the slum, Mokbul said. Another resident Mohammad Siddique claimed that some 40,000 people lived in the slum in total called Jhilpar Slum at Chalantika bend in the area.
The area is near Rupnagar Police Station and the law enforcers were trying their best to tackle the situation.
Inspector Golam Rabbani said they were yet to receive any report of casualties.
"It can't be assumed now. Many people have got out. There is an exit in the backside as well," he said.
The floor of the Al-Arabiya mosque houses different shops of vegetable, groceries, and clothing. Police Sub-Inspector 'Masud' said police and Fire Service were working jointly to stop the fire from spreading to the buildings near the slum.

Sub-Inspector Mohammad Faruk of police's Special Branch said they were yet to find out the origin of the fire.

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