Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun has said the deadly Chawkbazar fire that claimed the lives of at least 81 people had originated from a gas cylinder blast.
The minister told reporters about the origin of the fire while visiting the injured students at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
The minister said Wahed Mansion, a four-storey building which caught the fire first, had a hotel and there was a vehicle carrying gas cylinders parked outside it. He said that the explosion originated from any one of them.
Minister Humayun added that the Industries Ministry has formed a 12-member committee with Additional Industries Secretary M Mofizul Haque as its convener to find out the reason behind the fire.
He added that the committee will suggest measures to prevent such incidents in the future.
The committee will submit its report within five working days, he said, adding that the Industries Ministry will take necessary actions based on the report.
Replying to a query, Nurul Majid said two projects have been taken to relocate chemical and plastic factories from the old part of Dhaka to a safer place.
Earlier, the minister visited the spot at Chawkbazar.
At least 81 people were killed and 41 others injured in a devastating fire that broke out at a chemical warehouse and raged through four other adjacent buildings in the city’s Chawkbazar area on Wednesday night.
Major AKM Shakil Newaz, Director (Operation and Maintenance) of Fire Service and Civil Defence, at a press briefing on the spot in the morning told reporters that a total of 70 bodies were recovered from the buildings.
In addition to that, 11 others succumbed to their injuries at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), duty officer at the Fire Service Central Control Room Rasel Shikder told UNB around 4:15pm.
Shakil Newaz said 41 people were rescued alive while the flame was doused at 6:30am. A total of 39 units of firefighters took part in extinguishing the fire.