Fire at 132kV sub-station plunges city areas into darkness

Staff Correspondent | Published: 01:25, May 31,2018 | Updated: 18:24, May 31,2018


Fire fighters use water to put out fire at a power sub-station at Paribagh in Dhaka on Wednesday night. — Abdullah Apu

A fire broke out in the capital city’s major 132kV sub-station at Paribagh Wednesday night, immediately plunging Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Dhaka University, Dhanmondi, Kalabagan, Shahbagh, Hatirpool and parts of the old town into darkness.
No casualty, however, was reported.
Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited runs and maintains the sub-station housing four transformers in the heart of the city.
Fire service deputy director Debashish Bardhan told New Age that the fire originated at one of the transformers about 8:30pm probably because of overheating.
Seven fire fighting units extinguished the flame around 9:35pm, he said.
‘The fire may have been caused by overheating of the transformer,’ he said.
Debashish said about 35,000 litres of transformer oil was in the damaged transformer that intensified the flame at one of the key-point installations in capital.
Other transformers, each of which had similar amount of oil, were saved, he said.
Debashish said the station should have auto-fire fighting system but there was none.
DPDC director (admin) ATM Zakir Hossain said they could not immediately determine the cause of fire and estimate the losses.
He said the station staff noticed the flame that immediately spread across the installation.
DPDC chief engineer ASM Mahmudul Hoque told New Age that the fire caused power supply halt from one of the four transformers.
He said power supply to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and adjacent areas, Dhaka University, Dhanmondi, Kalabagan, Shahbagh, Hatirpool and parts of old town was halted.
‘Efforts are on to install alternative power supply,’ he said around 10:00pm.
Debashish said no casualties were reported.
A three-member committee was formed by the fire service to probe the incident.
DPDC director Zakir said they also formed a three-member body to investigate the matter.
Asked about the absence of auto-fire fighting system at the station, he declined to make any comment.
Traffic in its surrounding areas including Katabon, Elephant Road and Hatirpool remained halted for about one and half hours.
Panicked onlookers gathered outside the sub-station as flame with black fume bellowed up. 

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