Banani fire, at least 25 dead. Card. D'Rozario sends condolences (Photos)
by Sumon Corraya

The flames enveloped a 22-story skyscraper. The building was illegal because the builder had received permission for 18 floors. Most people managed to escape by jumping out the windows.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - "I'm shocked by the news. It is not possible for another fire to occur within a few weeks. My prayers go to those who died. I offer my sincerest condolences to the victims and their loved ones ” says Card. Patrick D’Rozario, archbishop of Dhaka.

He was commenting to AsiaNews on the umpteenth fire to devastate the capital of Bangladesh, a few weeks after the one that killed nearly 80 people in the Chawkbazar district. This blaze took place in Banani, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods of Dhaka, where yesterday a skyscraper went up in flames. The updated toll speaks of 25 victims and 100 wounded.

The fire broke out on the sixth floor around one in the afternoon, again for reasons to be determined. The FR Tower, half-destroyed by the flames, is a 22-story building in the heart of the capital. The authorities today reported that the structure was illegal.

Rezaul Karim, Minister of Public Works and Housing, says the skyscraper was built in violation of building regulations. The builder in fact had obtained permission for 18 floors, but in the end added four more without prior authorization.

According to Brigadier General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah, former Director General of the Fire Department, "it is true that the country is developing, but if people do not respect the law, this type of disaster will never end. The government must strictly monitor compliance with the rules ".

For the card D’Rozario, “the frequent repetition of the same type of tragic accident, must be a wake-up call for the population and the responsible public authorities”.

The skyscraper wrapped in flames is home to numerous offices. Most people managed to escape by climbing out of the windows and lowering themselves to the ground, but some lost their grip and fell into the void. In this way Nirosh Vignarajah, a citizen of Sri Lanka, died.

As the news of the fire spread, the area was besieged by family members and friends of those working inside. In front of the building they prayed for the trapped people. Like Anjir Siddik Abir, who worked on the 14th floor, of which there are still no traces. His name appears neither in the list of the deceased nor in that of hospitalized patients.